The Complete Guide to Buying a Condo
Are you thinking about buying a condo as opposed to buying a house? This could be a great option for you.
Generally speaking, it’s much easier to maintain a condo than it is to maintain a house. You can also find condos for sale for a lot less money than what houses will cost you in most cases.
There aren’t as many new condos being built right now as new houses. But even still, you should be able to track down condos that you’ll love when you’re in the market to buy property.
We’ve thrown together a guide that will help you through the condo-buying process. It’ll allow you to make the right condo investment and ensure that you can navigate your way through the real estate market with success.
Here is how to go about buying a condo.
Make Sure You Definitely Want to Buy a Condo
As we just alluded to, there are many great reasons to go through with buying a condo. You’ll come to appreciate everything from the lack of maintenance associated with purchasing a condo to the price tag of a condo.
But there are some downsides to buying a condo that you should be aware of, too. For example, you’re going to live right on top of your neighbors (literally!) when you buy a condo. You’re also not going to have much private yard space when you invest in a condo.
For these reasons, you should put some serious thought into whether or not a condo would be the right option for you. You’ll want to do this before you decide to move forward with buying a condo.
Decide What You Want Out of a Condo
If you give it the right amount of thought and decide that you do, in fact, want to make it your mission to buy a condo, the next thing you’ll want to do is think about what you want out of a condo. Condos come in many shapes and sizes.
If you’re buying your first condo, you might only want to get a one- or two-bedroom condo with one or two bathrooms. If you’re purchasing a condo for your whole family, you might want something a little larger than that.
You should also try to make a list of the amenities that you’ll want to get out of a condo. Many condo communities will have things like swimming pools, gyms, and more, but they aren’t all going to have the same amenities available.
Your goal should be to make a wish list of the things that you would like to get when buying a condo. It’ll enable you to narrow down your options much quicker than you would be able to otherwise.
Attempt to Get Pre-Approved for a Loan to Buy a Condo
Prior to shopping around for a condo, you should try to get pre-approved for a mortgage to buy one. It’ll show you what your price range is going to be and make it so much easier for you to hone in on the condo that you want to buy.
Buying a condo is going to be a little different than buying a house in the eyes of lenders. So from the second, you start trying to get pre-approved for a loan, you should let a lender know that you’re interested in buying a condo.
If you don’t do this, you will run the risk of getting pre-approved for a loan for a house as opposed to a condo. It could derail your search for a condo from the start and set you back to square one. It’s why you need to be open and honest with a lender as far as what you’re interested in buying.
Look Around for Condos for Sale in Your Area
After you get pre-approved for a loan for a condo, you can start to shop around for something that will fit into your price range and check all the right boxes for you. It would be worth casting a wide net and looking both in your current city and surrounding cities for condos for sale.
In this day and age, it’s so simple for those who are in the market for real estate to shop around for it right online. Within just a few days, you should be able to throw together a list of condos that you would like to go and see.
Whether you’re planning on enlisting the services of a real estate agent or not, you can then proceed to setting up showings for condos for sale. You’ll be able to walk through these condos, see what they have to offer, and decide which ones are the best options of the bunch.
Pay Close Attention to the HOA Fees Associated With Condos
One thing that you’re going to want to pay extra close attention to when you’re shopping for condos is the HOA fees that will be attached to them. Different condos for sale will have different HOA fees that you’ll have to pay for the amenities included with them.
These HOA fees will cover the costs of things like trash removal, snow removal, swimming pool maintenance, etc. You will need to search for HOA fees that are going to fit into your budget.
You might be able to afford to pay for a condo itself. But if you can’t also afford the HOA fees, you might put yourself into a tough financial spot. You’ll need to be diligent about taking HOA fees into account and ruling out any condos with HOA fees that are too high.
Learn About the Types of Insurance You’ll Need to Obtain for a Condo
Insuring a condo is going to be a lot different than insuring a house. As a result, you’ll need to learn about the types of insurance that you’ll be required to obtain after buying a condo so that you’re prepared to secure the right insurance for the right price.
Some of the various types of condo insurance include:
- Condominium master insurance
- Liability insurance
- Property coverage insurance
- General liability insurance
The insurance aspect of buying a condo might make your head spin at first. But you should be able to get the hang of it once you read through this guide and get the information you’ll need.
Think About If You’ll Want to Rent Out a Condo Later
A lot of people will make the decision to buy a condo as their first home, live in it for a little while, and then move into a house while keeping their condo as a rental property. Is doing this something that might interest you?
If you like the sound of doing it, you might want to keep it in the back of your mind when you’re first buying a condo. You’ll need to search for a condo that is in an attractive location with lots of extra amenities. It’s going to put you in the perfect position to rent it out later on.
You don’t necessarily need to take this approach to buying a condo. You won’t be required to keep it and rent it out later. But it could be a good option for you if you’ve ever had any interest in investing in real estate.
Choose the Condo You Want to Purchase
Once you’ve worked your way through all the other steps on this list, it should only be a matter of time before you’re buying a condo. You should be able to find a condo that you love that fits into your preferred price range.
You can put together a formal offer for it and present it to whoever is selling it. You should be prepared to negotiate everything from the price of the condo to the closing date for it with the seller.
It’ll only be a matter of time before you’re buying a condo and moving into it so that you can make it your own.
Follow These Steps When Buying a Condo
As you can see, buying a condo isn’t something that you’ll be able to do within a matter of just a few days. There will be so many steps that you’ll need to follow to land on the right condo for your specific situation.
Use the tips that we’ve provided for you here to make owning a condo a reality. They should leave you with a condo that you’ll love from the start when you’re all finished shopping around for one.
Look for more tips on buying real estate in the other articles published on our blog.