Deerwood Realty and Friends Podcast

While we have many condos in South County, I don’t often get requests to buy very often.  Surprisingly, buyers looking for condos are looking for different things than homebuyers…I thought we would take a look at 6 things condo buyers should look out for.

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1.  Deferred maintenance…I agree with this one.  Your best bet is to look at the common areas, but if you are under contract, there will be a disclosure usually required by the lender that shows condo financials from the year prior…you can see what has been repaired.  Also, most agents in my area do mention any known upcoming assessments.

2.  Shoddy Construction….This is going to be a tough one to know about in advance of your purchase.  A couple of reasons for this.  1.  You typically don’t see inspectors tearing into walls and looking for issues.

2.  The article suggests looking for building code violations…many municipalities do not have this information easily accessible on the web…and typically on a disclosure, it’s not asked if there were any building code violations, more like something if there were any known if there was a violation 2 owners ago, it’s probably not going to show up on the disclosure

3.  High Association Fees.  I agree with this.  Especially relative to other similar condos in your area.  What are you getting for the high fee?  IF there’s a pool, trash pickup, etc and the common areas are well maintained, that’s one thing.  It’s quite another if the place is in shambles.

4.  Poor Insulation  I agree this can be an issue.  Typically, the style of construction has something to do with whether or not the condo is more noisy than others.  As an example, I had some friends that lived in a condo of concrete block construction with concrete floors.  Didn’t hear much noise and the only noise we did came when the heavy steel doors were opened or closed.  The idea of scheduling multiple showings during the day and evening does make sense if you are very concerned about the issue.

5.  Bad Parking.  I agree with this as well.  You know, if you are guaranteed a reserved space, that’s fine, but if your guests have to park a mile away that’s no good.  I have some friends that live at the bottom of a hill and the guest parking for the condo is at the top of the hill.  It’s no fun to make that hike to their house.

6.  Percentage of rental units/owned units.  To get FHA financing, there is a percentage of units that have to be owned versus rented.  At one time there was even a square footage requirement, so if the first floor was retail, it could be an issue in getting financing.  Most listings I see mention the type of financing available, and usually if you can’t go FHA there will be a note in the listing…you need a condo certification…usually the lender pulls that, but there is also a link….


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