Condo buying tips

Following up to the market stats on condos in Danbury ,there are several things to consider when looking to purchase a condo or townhouse in the Danbury area. On top of the things buyers should be looking at for a single family home (like layout and mechincal systems), there are things that are unique to note when looking for a condo:

  • Is the community located in a neighborhood that you would feel comfortable living in? Is it near the places you need or like to go to a lot (work, shopping)
  • Would you feel comfortable in the condo or townhome community?
  • Is the indivdual unit is a location in the community that you like?
  • Has the condo fees gone up considerbly over the last few years?
  • Are there any special assessments on the complex?
  • Is the owner occupancy ratio good?
  • Often times, the community offers some recreational facilties to it’s residents like pools which the expenses for their maitance are included in the monthly homeowners association.
  • Generally, the property taxes on condos are lower than the equilivently sized single family homes since you don’t own any land. Often with newer condos, the property taxes are higher than older units.
  • How is the parking situation for owners and their guests?
  • Carefully review the condo documents. They tell you about the community is run. The laws include things like the budget, construction information, rules on pets, the board of directions, condo fees, surveys and much more information.Condo docs typically include budgets, surveys, information on construction, rules about pets, rules about resale, the condo board of directors, condo fees, and much more. In CT, buyers have 2 weeks review and agree to the terms of the condominium documents before the date they are able to back out of the contract, also known as the cancellation period . If  the buyer is not satisfied with these guidelines, they can back out of the deal with no penalty.
  • Condo fees can really increase the cost of ownership, however there is an upside to them. Be sure to review the budget and make sure it makes sense to you. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.Make sure the some of the funds from the condo fees go toward reserves. The reserve money goes to cover things like repairs like roofs, new siding or exterior paint or plumbing become necessary. The upside is that many condominium communities have private amenities such as fitness centers, pools, tennis courts, that will typically be more expensive elsewhere.
  • Usually condo owners only need a contents insurance policy, which isn’t that expensive. The HOA usually has a policy on the building or buildings againist major distaters and law suits with is paid for with some of the condo fees.Also, condo owners typically only have a contents insurance policy which often doesn’t cost more than renters insurance. Keep in mind that if the cost of insurance goes up, so will your condo fees.
  • Make sure to have a home inspection! No matter how new or attractive a condo might appeal, there is usually something wrong with it because there is no such thing as a perfect house. If something comes up, buyers can negoiate for the repair to be done or be given a credit for the work, or completly back out of the purchase completly.First, if there is a problem, that’s grounds for more negotiation, or canceling a purchase completely. Some buyers think they will be saving money by not having an inspection but within a month or so of moving in, they might find they need a new furnance or water heater.A home inspector should give an idea if the unit things like foundation problems, leaks in the roof, mold, and a lot more!Condo’s can have foundation problems, leaks in the roof, mold, anything!

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One response to “Condo buying tips

  1. Another thing to look at when buying a condo is how much does the condo association have IN the reserve. If it seems low, that is a good indication that condo fees may rise soon.

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