Owning property is the goal of countless people in Cincinnati. If you are one of the many who are interested in buying a condo, it is wise to know what to expect before you get started. Here are all of the DOs and DON’Ts to keep in mind along the way. Remembering them will ensure the best possible experience.
DO make sure that a condo is the property type that is the best fit for your needs. There are some who buy condos because they are centrally located and.or they believe they are priced better than single-family homes, but there are factors that must be taken into account. If you are one of those people who enjoy landscaping and having neighbors that are not too close, then you may want to rethink this decision.
DON’T forget that you may have to pay HOA fees. One thing that shocks many people when they buy condos is the fact that they have to pay a monthly fee to the homeowner’s association. This is required and it covers things like maintenance and snow removal. You should always make concessions for this when you are trying to figure out a reasonable budget for your condo purchase.
DO remember that there are rules when living in a condo. When you buy property in most cases, you have the right to do whatever you like to it, but that is not the case with condos. In fact, you will have to sign a contract when you make the purchase which states that you agree with all of the rules and regulations.
DON’T forget to save up a fairly hefty down payment. When you buy a traditional home, you can get away with paying as little as 10% down. When you decide to purchase a condo, things are a bit different. Most mortgage companies require at least 30% down before they are willing to extend a loan. If you do not have a good amount of money saved up, you should probably wait a while before trying to move forward with the purchase.
DO think about parking. This is especially true if you are preparing to buy a condo located in downtown Cincinnati. You will have a couple of options to consider when it comes to parking and they may have a big impact on the property you decide to purchase. You may want to only consider condos where a parking spot is included since this means you will not have to pay any additional fees monthly. On the other hand, the fees may be a small price to pay if you fall in love with a place that does not have included parking.’
DON’T forget to find out what the delinquency rate is when you are considering a specific community. This is really important since it will have a bearing on whether or not you are approved for a loan. Basically, if people in the community are far behind on their dues, lenders may be really reluctant to take a chance on someone else.
This should also be important to those who plan on making a cash purchase. An association that is struggling may not be able to make improvements and take care of upkeep as well as they should. You do not want to step into a landmine, so look into this before making any big decisions.
DO select a real estate agent that has experience with condos such as 3cre. This is important since there are nuances that make these purchases different from typical home transactions. If someone expresses interest in working with you, yet they do not have the skill and experience to back it up, you should not agree to this. While there is a chance things may end well, it is not worth taking a chance.
DON’T buy a condo until you know whether or not the entire building is insured. It is actually common for associations to reduce their insurance coverage in order to cut costs. With that said, trying to get a loan when the property is underinsured will not turn out well. Ask for a copy of the insurance policy once you have expressed interest and take it to an agent to have them review it. This will help you determine whether you should move forward with this transaction or not.
DO take a look at several condos before making a decision. This is a big purchase and is not a choice that should be made on a whim. Even if you look at 50 different ones then circle back to the one you originally saw, it is better than choosing too quickly. The reason this is a great idea is that it will ensure you have thought the decision through carefully and you will not turn around shortly after making a purchase and realize you have a serious case of buyer’s remorse.
DON’T forget to ask whether the porch is considered a part of your property. This may seem like a strange thing to consider, but it is actually very important. There are some associations that take care of the outside of the home, like the landscaping, yet it is your responsibility to take care of the porch if it is in disrepair. On the flip side, there are communities where this is covered as part of the benefits of paying an association fee. It is your responsibility as a buyer to be totally clear about this before signing on the dotted line.
Now that you know more about buying a condo, it is now time to think about all of the information here and determine whether or not this is a process that you want to move forward with. Keep in mind this is likely to be a long and arduous process, but the reward is that you will be a property owner in the end. In other words, all of the stress you experience during this time may seem overwhelming, but it will all be worth it.