Questions You Should Ask Before Splashing Out On A New Condo
One of the great things about condo living is the fact that you get to share cheap, local amenities. When a whole group of people is paying to support the facilities, whether it’s a pool or a fitness center, it’s a lot less expensive than trying to pay for them yourself out of pocket. What’s more, you often end up with something that’s a lot better.
There are a lot of pros to owning a condo. But there are also some potential pitfalls. Here are some questions you should ask before you buy.
What Are The Biggest Complaints?
Most condo complexes have a community board meeting where people who live in the condo get together to talk about their gripes. The cool thing about these meetings is that they are usually recorded. Try to get your hands on the minutes to see what issues are being discussed. Most of the time it’ll be minor things, like an unreliable boiler. But sometimes it’ll be big problems, like the fact that the building is damp or that there is continuous noise from a nearby venue. Checking over the minutes of these meetings can help you avoid disappointment once you’ve moved into your new apartment.
What Do You Own And What Are You Responsible For?
Buying a condo or an apartment is a little different to buying a regular house. When you buy an ordinary house, you own the building as well as the space within it, including all the fixtures and fitting. But in a condo, you don’t actually own the building. Your ownership is restricted to the interior space of a portion of that building, and you’ll usually have to pay a small fee to the building’s owner for upkeep.
It’s important to find out, therefore, whether any garden space or balcony is owned by you, or by the owner of the building. Coronation CEO, Joe Nahas, for instance, is currently working alongside designers to build condos that have lush landscape designs integrated into the facade. Who owns what, therefore, must be carefully explained in the contract. If you own the garden or balcony elements, then you’re responsible for the upkeep. If it’s the owner, then they’re responsible.
What Are The Rules?
Unlike a separate property or a ranch, a condo is like a miniature city where people literally live one on top of the other. As such, there’s a community – and communities have rules. These rules could include things like no pets, no subletting and no planting flowers in the communal garden. Prospective owners need to ask themselves whether they are willing to accept the rules or whether they need to find a condo that is more conducive to their lifestyle.
What Does The Condo Insurance Cover?
Because condos are usually owned by multiple parties, insurance can often be complicated. Who is responsible for which parts of the insurance can be difficult to ascertain. In most cases, the owner of the building will be responsible for paying for building insurance, while the owners of individual units will need to pay for contents. With that said, sometimes the insurance agreement is outdated, and the building might be underinsured, relative to its actual market value.