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Buying A Condo
June 8th, 2010 10:58 AM

Condo sales are currently offering fantastic bargain prices and the chance to own a dream get away in the sunshine state.  But it is a good idea to do some background homework before making a final decision.

Take a look at the minutes of the condo association board meetings to see if any owners have had major complaints or there are management difficulties.  Even if there aren't any complaints, reading the minutes will reveal the sorts of projects that are under way at the complex.

Find out the delinquency rates of present owners.  If people are not paying their association dues on time, that is either a sign of discontent or an indication that the association might be underfunded.

Ask if the community has an adequate reserve fund for repairs; the older the building complex, the more will be needed in that fund. 

Get a copy of the certificate of insurance, which is a summary of the association's policy.   See if the replacement costs covered by the policy are an accurate estimate of the cost of rebuilding.  Make sure you understand exactly what the association policy covers and what you are responsible for.  The smart condo owner will insure his/her personal belongings, along with any other items within the unit that are not covered by the association's policy.

Buying a single-family home without a lawyer is not a big deal for many people.  But with a condo, it is wise to involve an attorney to go over the bylaws of the association.  An attorney will know if the bylaws make sense and that they are consistent with the state laws.  They can also research to make sure no owners have filed a suit against it.

Be careful of condos whose owners manage the place themselves.  Check out the management company as thoroughly as you check out the association.  Ask people in nearby buildings and interview the day time manager directly.  If you hook up with a  bad manager, it might be that your "dream condo" will turn into a horrible "nightmare."

For all of the reasons listed above, it is a good idea to always purchase a condo through a realtor, as he/she can help with the questions that need answered and the research that needs to be done in order to assure a sucessful and pleasant transaction that will bring enjoyment for years to come.

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Posted by Barbara Doeringer on June 8th, 2010 10:58 AMPost a Comment

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