There is little doubt that purchasing a luxury condominium can be one of the most momentous and positive steps that a person can take in life. But choosing the right condo can sometimes feel like a confusing process. Fortunately, there are ways to make sure that the purchase of a condo is a decision that you can be happy with. Here are just a few important things to do before purchasing a condo, and why they matter now more than ever.
1. Research Property Management Companies in the Area
When purchasing a house, free time is a concept that often disappears once a mortgage is signed: When a boiler breaks or a crack in the wall appears, owners often have no choice but to spend their evenings or weekends dealing with repairs. But when it comes to condo living, most of these responsibilities are handled by a property management company. This is why it’s important to learn about the company responsible for the maintenance and improvements done to a condo community before you decide to buy a unit. For example, someone looking at condos in central Florida wants to research Orlando or Ocala property management companies, since one of the major players will probably be the one overseeing the complex. Knowledge of which services have a reputation for excellence will help to narrow down the options.
2. Weighing HOA Fees
In certain buildings, owners will likely be required to pay a homeowners association fee in addition to their mortgage payment. In pricey areas like Manhattan, monthly HOA fees can sometimes be as large as mortgage payments. Considering how an HOA fee will fit into your budget can really help you save on unnecessary costs in the long run.
3. Find Out if the HOA Fits With Your Worldview
Even if an HOA fee is acceptable to you, it’s important to get a feel for what the homeowners association is like where you will be living. If members of the HOA where you want to live are controlling or intrusive, you might want to think twice about living in a particular building. Many new condo owners find that arbitrary rules and issues related to infighting make dealing with HOAs a real pain.
4. Take a Hard Look at Commute Times
If you’re looking for a condo that has an acceptable commute time, it can be very helpful to take a few practice drives from the property to your office. Are there any traffic issues at the times of day that you normally drive to or from work? Does the commute time feel acceptable to you?
Purchasing a condo is a real commitment, and being happy with a commute can really count for a lot in the long-term. If your gas budget will be through the roof due to a condo’s location, for example, it might be a good idea to invest in a slightly more expensive condo that is closer to your workplace. If you’ll be spending the same amount of money anyway, saving yourself time and energy might well be worth the cost.