Debbie Glass REALTOR® Broker/Owner's Blog
37 Meadowood, Stoughton, MA 02072
A condo offers a great opportunity to enjoy a comfortable living space without the hassle of home exterior maintenance. As such, many property buyers are exploring condos in cities and towns nationwide.
However, buying a condo sometimes can be tricky, particularly for property buyers who are unfamiliar with the real estate market. Lucky for you, we're here to help take the guesswork out of purchasing a condo.
Let's take a look at three questions that condo buyers need to consider before they purchase a property.
1. Am I ready for condo life?
Owning a condo and owning a home are two very different things, and perhaps it is easy to understand why.
Like a homeowner, a condo owner has a property to call his or her own. But a condo community usually has a homeowners' association (HOA) in place that manages exterior maintenance and other tasks. This association also establishes rules and regulations that all condo owners must follow; otherwise, property owners may face fines.
Before you purchase a condo, it is paramount to prepare for condo life as much as possible. To do so, you may want to consult with friends or family members who have resided in condo communities over the years. These loved ones can share their condo living experiences with you to help you better understand what life will be like as a condo owner.
2. How much can I afford to pay for a condo?
Although you know that you'd like to purchase a condo, you still need to find out how much you can afford to pay for a property. Fortunately, banks and credit unions are available to help you determine how much you can spend on a condo.
Consult with several banks and credit unions to explore all of your home financing options. Then, you can select a mortgage that matches your expectations.
In addition, you may want to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start your condo search. If you enter the real estate market with a budget in hand, you can narrow your condo search and speed up the property buying process.
3. Do I need to employ a real estate agent?
Ultimately, a real estate agent is a must-have for any condo buyer, at any time. This housing market professional can teach you the ins and outs of real estate and ensure that you can make an informed condo purchase.
A real estate agent strives to provide you with an outstanding condo buying experience. To accomplish this goal, he or she will work with you, learn about your condo buying goals and help you plan accordingly.
Furthermore, a real estate agent is unafraid to be honest. He or she will offer condo buying recommendations and suggestions as you check out a variety of properties. This housing market professional is happy to respond to your condo buying queries as well.
Streamline the process of buying a condo – consider the aforementioned questions, and you can move closer to acquiring an outstanding condo at an outstanding price.
Common-interest housing includes individually owned spaces and common areas shared by all owners. The common areas can include clubhouses, landscaping, parking lots or pools. Multistory buildings share lobbies, stairwells, and elevators. Any community that shares property including single-family free-standing homes in developments, falls into the common-interest category.
The two most familiar types of common-interest housing terms are condominiums (or condos) and townhomes (or townhouses). Although both belong in the category of common-interest housing, condos and townhouses may mean different things depending on regional or legal definitions.
A condo is a shared building or group of buildings and common spaces in which housing units are owned individually. This could be a single unit within a tower building or a conjoined home having its own ground floor with exterior entry. Other homes in the condominium category include single-family cottages or even modular homes inside planned communities. When you purchase a condo, you own the unit itself while you are a co-owner of the common areas.
A townhome is a style of house that is connected to another structure on at least one side. It may be solely owned by an individual as part of a CID, part of a multi-family apartment dwelling, or individually owned without property in common. A true townhome is built with independent sidewalls that stand alone even if they touch the walls of another townhome. When you purchase a townhouse, you own the unit itself and whatever yard area is affiliated with it as you would with a detached single-family house.
While condominium units might incorporate elements like private outdoor spaces, individual ground-floor entry options or design elements that resemble those of a townhome, it is ownership that truly defines them.
All CID properties have a homeowners’ association (HOA) of some sort. While some are mainly hands-off with regard to individual units, others have specific regulations regarding renting, remodeling, and exterior décor.
If you are trying to decide between purchasing a condominium or a townhouse, have your agent explain the differences in common ownership between them, and make certain to factor in the HOA fees to your monthly budget.
Let's face it – no condo seller wants to deal with a high-pressure negotiation. Lucky for you, we're here to help you streamline the process of selling your condo so you can avoid stressful negotiations with property buyers.
What does it take to remain calm, cool and collected during a negotiation with a condo buyer? Here are three tips that every condo seller needs to know.
1. Consider the Condo Buyer's Perspective
As an informed condo seller, it is important to consider both sides of a negotiation. By doing so, you can evaluate a condo buyer's perspective and plan your next move accordingly.
For condo sellers, the goal is to get the best price for a property. As such, a condo seller who performs extensive housing market research probably understands the true value of his or her residence.
On the other hand, a condo buyer is likely to conduct real estate market research on his or her own. This property buyer also will assess the current condition of a condo in relation to his or her budget and submit an offer that accounts for these factors.
Ultimately, a condo seller and buyer should try to find common ground. That way, both parties can work together to get the best results out of a negotiation.
2. Review All of Your Options
After a condo seller accepts a buyer's proposal, the next step likely involves a property inspection. At this point, a condo acquisition may move forward, or a condo seller might need to rethink his or her plan.
If a condo inspector discovers myriad problems with a property, a condo buyer may ask the seller to complete repairs or lower the price of the property. Meanwhile, a condo seller will need to review all of his or her options quickly.
Following a condo inspection, it is important to consider the results of the evaluation.
If a condo seller discovers major repairs are required, he or she should consider completing the repairs or lowering the price on a property.
Or, if a condo buyer asks for a major price reduction even though only minimal repairs are needed, a seller should be unafraid to say "No" to the buyer's requests.
It is important for a condo seller to feel comfortable with any decision that is made throughout the property selling cycle. Thus, if a condo seller is uncomfortable with completing property repairs or reducing the price of a residence after a property inspection, he or she should be ready to decline a buyer's demands.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent will handle negotiations between a condo seller and buyer. Therefore, this housing market professional can play a pivotal role in a seller's ability to get the best price for a condo.
Consulting with a real estate agent who possesses condo experience is key. This real estate agent can keep you up to date during negotiations with condo buyers and ensure you are fully satisfied with the final results.
Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can move one step closer to maximizing the value of your condo.