Before you buy a condo, use these 8 questions from RealtorMag.com to learn how responsive and organized your potential new board is. These questions may also help you to identify some potential problems with the property.
- What percentage of units is owner-occupied? What percentage is tenant-occupied? Generally the higher the percentage of owner-occupied units, the more marketable the condo will be at resale.
- What covenants, bylaws, and restrictions govern the property? What grandfather clauses are in place? Ask for a copy of bylaws, and determine if you will be able to live within them.
- How much does the association keep in reserve? Plus, find out how much money is being invested.
- Are association assessments keeping pace with the annual rate of inflation? To determine if the assessment is reasonable, compare the rate to others in the area.
- What does and doesn’t the assessment cover? Common area maintenance, recreational facilities, snow removal, trash removal, etc…
- How much turnover occurs in the building/complex? This will be a good way to gauge whether or not residents are generally happy with the building. On average, in a two-to-four unit building the stay is 5 years. In a building that has five units or more the average stay is four years.
- Is the developer reputable? Found out if the developer has worked on any other projects in the area. If there are projects nearby, go and check them out. Ask residents about their experience.
- Are multiple associations involved in the property? In very large developments, umbrella associations, as well as the smaller associations into which you’re buying, may require separate assessments.
Keep these 9 questions in mind when looking at different properties. Each question will help you identify potential hang-ups that you might have with the developer/associations/ other residents etc.