It costs a lot of money to buy a condo. If you take out a mortgage, the cost is even higher. So, making a mistake is not an option. Here are four tips that will help you avoid making mistakes.1. Know what you're buyingWhen you buy a home, there's no doubt in anybody's mind as to what you're buying: the home and the yard and any other structures on that yard, and you own them free and clear. With condos, you're buying space. Your property line starts in the middle of exterior walls and ends on the other side in the middle of exterior walls. And the same vertically, your property line begins in the middle of the floor and goes to the middle of the ceiling.You're also buying a shared interest in the land and the building, the common areas. And that means it's not enough to like the unit you plan to buy, you need to pay close attention to the common areas. If there are going to be repairs to the common areas, you'll be partly responsible for paying for them.2. Know the associationYou need to take a close look at the budget and at minutes of the meetings.The budget should show that there's enough money coming in to cover monthly costs (garbage collection, maintenance crew, etc.) and enough reserves to cover predictable but not monthly work the building will need (painting the hallways, changing the carpeting in the hallways, etc.). That means it should be at least 5% of the association's gross operating budget.You should know what's the exact percentage you own jointly (the things outside your condo unit that you own). You can calculate how much you have to pay for special assessments and how much voting power you have.And, since we're talking about special assessments, find out if there are any coming up. Find out when the last one happened. If in the last few years, find out why it was necessary, why the expense had not been anticipated. Also, find out when were the last few times that the regular association dues were raised. Too many over a short period of time indicates something's not right.You should know more on Free Condo Home buying tips. Know your association also means you read the master deed and the declaration of covenants, conditions and restrictions carefully. Reason one: you need to know what you can and cannot do in your condo unit and in the condo building/project before you invest money. Reason two: it will give you a better idea about how your neighbors view themselves, what they value.3. Know your neighborsIt's best to buy in a complex where the other owners have situations similar to yours. For two reasons:
Some of them are going to be on the board of directors, making up rules, the rest will be voting for those rules. It's best if you're in the first group. But if you're pulling right and everybody else is pulling left, you're going left.
You have less privacy in a condo than you have in a home.
4. Find out about insuranceYes, the association will have insurance. But that insurance doesn't cover everything you buy when you buy a condo. Find out what is not covered and buy your own coverage for that part of your property.You need to have many things be right to buy a condo you will love living in. The above four tips will help sort through your options and make a better decision the next time you buy a condo. You can still visit my page to learn more!