Often people make the mistake of shopping for a condo the same way they would a house. Although you will be making a similar investment, purchasing a condo involves different factors that traditional home owners don't have to handle. |
Before you commit yourself to purchasing any residential real estate, consider the following tips when condo shopping.
1. Many people want to buy real estate to be free of the hazards of apartment dwelling -- noisy neighbors, delinquent superintendents, that woman who never picks up after her dog. But buying a condo means that you're buying a piece of a larger property, or basically an apartment.
Depending on the size of the complex, your condo may be far removed from other units, or there may be only a small number of units on the real estate, but there's a good chance you will have some neighbors nearby. And, you'll probably be stuck living next to them for quite a while.
If you're concerned about living next to lousy neighbors, introduce yourself to a few before you make any decisions. Ask around about the general atmosphere of the grounds and if there are any noise or other problems emanating from a particular unit. Check how soundproof the walls are and the overall look of the building. If you see dishes being chucked out of a window, move on.
2. Can you live with their regulations? Condo associations often have regulations and laws that you'll have to abide by. Some are stricter than others, even limiting the kind of flowers acceptable to put in your planter, while others just ask you not to paint polka dots on your roof. Make sure you review them all before signing any contracts. Sometimes there are hidden laws that could be deal breakers for you.
3. Make sure you know where your money is going. Not only will you have to pay a mortgage, but you'll be paying association fees. These normally take care of building upkeep, landscaping, garbage, and other necessary chores. But if the pool is supporting a small algae farm, something is amiss. Have your realtor help you with explain the price breakdown and fees.
4. Thoroughly review emergency maintenance plans. It may not seem important during the excitement of buying a new condo, but if you (or your neighbor's) toilet leaks all over in the middle of the night; you'll want it fixed fast. Since you are buying a small part of a larger piece of real estate, other people's problems can also affect you. Most condos have emergency numbers to call, be sure you know them and what problems they cover.
5. Just like you'd have a house inspected before you bought it, a condo should have an inspection as well. But you'll not only want your unit evaluated, the structure of the entire building and grounds should be taken into consideration also.
Remember when buying a condo, you're buying into something bigger than two bedrooms and one bath. If you make a wise decision, you'll be rewarded with many conveniences and a great home. To ensure you're getting a good deal, it's also prudent to bring along a trustworthy realtor to help you with the process.
You can avoid the pitfalls that new condo owners face if you decide to let a realtor assist you in the buying process. If you're looking for real estate in Louisiana, learn the benefits of working with a realtor and contact Greater Baton Rouge realtors at www.realestatelouisiana.com.
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