Condos and apartments in our area offer close proximity to such varied interests as wildlife, shopping, boat docks, and everything in between.
However, buying a condo is not like buying a house. Whether you’re looking for your first or fifth condo, you’ll see that the tips below are perfect for finding exactly what you’re looking for!
Check Out the Big Picture
Of course, the unit matters. The floor plan can make or break your living experience. But condo buyers often forget to take in the complete picture.
While it’s easy to determine if the floor plan works for you and your needs, it takes a little more work to decide on the environment’s overall suitability.
Unlike with a house, you’ll be in very close proximity to your neighbors. Depending on your unit’s location, you’ll potentially have walls, ceilings, and floors in common.
Always book your showing during a more active time of day, such as dinner time. A unit may seem peaceful during mid-day and then turn into a racket once the clock strikes 5.
Even if you’re not sensitive to noise, chances are you’ll want some privacy. Reviewing your unit at a more active time a day lets you know just how well your walls do at drowning out noise.
Be sure to chat with neighbors about the noise level and take into consideration how traffic outside might affect your living environment.
For a quieter space, prioritize units on the end of the floor and at the top.
Understand the Association and Its Rules
Your condo’s association will have a major influence on your experience. There are likely rules about pets, parking, maintenance, repairs, and general condo appearance.
Once you sign the contract and the rescission period has passed, it becomes much hard to back out of the condo and its association.
Review the bylaws carefully and ask questions. The manager and HOA board representatives should be prepared to answer your questions.
Get information about how many units are occupied by their owners. Condo associations typically have more difficulty enforcing rules in heavily rented properties. It’s often up to the unit-owners to make sure renters comply.
Keep in mind that complexes that are more heavily-owned by occupants are viewed more favorably by the Federal Housing Agency.
Know Which Amenities Are Must Haves (And Which You Can Skip)
One of the perks of owning a condo is the wide array of potential amenities. You can enjoy all the “extras” without having to deal with the maintenance.
Make a list of amenities you’d like to have before condo shopping. Here are some popular options:
- Fitness center
- Hot tub
- Steam room
- Splash pool for children
- Indoor parking
- Entertaining areas
- Grilling area
- Laundry room
- On-site security
Of course, condos with more amenities will carry a higher price tag. Know what you have to have and what you can skip.
Be sure to consider any extra costs like purchasing your own washer and dryer or buying a gym membership if you choose to skip some amenities.
To make your condo buying experience a success, work with a real estate agent who understands the process to a T.
The Williams Team will be glad to guide you through some of the trickier parts of the condo-buying process on the Northshore, so you can find the ideal unit for you and your family! Get in touch with us today!