What You Should Know When Buying A Massachusetts Condo
You have been hearing it for months now. It is time to buy. Time to get off that fence before the market turns around completely.
As a buyer, you have probably been looking around on the internet for homes or condos to purchase, and you have probably made up your mind as to what will suit you better. If a condo or a townhome is your choice, there are a couple of different steps to the process that you will want to consider.
Selecting the Condo or Townhouse
Look at the entire complex not just the unit you are buying. How is the landscaping? How is the parking situation and is it taken care of? Is their enough visitor parking? Does the property appear to be well maintained. Do the unit owners appear to take pride in their units? Talk to some of the residents. See if you can get a sense of the heart of the community as well as the actual details.
Is the Complex FHA approved?
If you do need FHA financing, this is very important to you and you should know this prior to viewing a unit. If you do not need to use FHA for your own financing it is still a bonus to own a unit in a FHA approved complex simply because there are many buyers that need this option for financing and it will open up your listing to more potential buyers when/if you go to sell.
Your Offer to Purchase Should Contain A Few More Contingencies
Of course you will have the normal contingencies such as inspections and possibly financing, but you should also reserve the right to review information relative to the complex.
What Other Contingencies are Important?
It is typical to make an offer on a condo with the contingency that you have the right to review and approve of the condo docs, rules and regulations and financial documents.
Review of Condo Docs
Read these prior to moving forward to purchase and sales. You want to make sure you can live within the rules and regulations of the community. You also want to make sure that you are comfortable having neighbors that live within a certain set of guidelines. Find out what you are responsible for. Are the windows your responsibility or that of the association? You get the drift.
Compare at Least a couple of years of financials. How often do the fees change. Do the costs look reasonable? Are there any major expenses that they, or you, foresee and are they budgeted for? What do their reserves look like? It is also a good idea to ask for a copy of the minutes of the last meeting.
Other important questions
- How is the property managed? Is it by a professional management company or are they self managed? No right or wrong, but you should be comfortable with the way it is done.
- Are any special assessments current or pending. This is important as it can seriously affect your condo fee in the near future.
- Are their any law suits pending? Important as it can affect your fees AND your ability to sell.
- How many units are owner occupied? Goes back to the future financing of units. If you are an investor, you might not care.
- Is the Title 5 up to date? If the complex is not serviced by municipal sewer, see how they handle this. Normally this is kept continually current.
There are many benefits to condo living. It can be the right choice for you. Believe me when I tell you that there are times, especially after a snowfall or when the grass needs cutting that I want to throw the "for sale" sign out in front of my house and go out and purchase a condo!
Ask the right questions and you will be very happy with your purchase!
About the author
Carol-Ann Palmieri, a full time Real Estate professional in Massachusetts for the past 25 years along with Al Mussi have helped hundreds of families find, sell or purchase new places to live.
A former US Marine, she grew up in Walpole, MA... is committed to the serving the community through various volunteer opportunities. She attended MA Bay Community and Suffolk University and is committed to constantly updating her Real Estate education.
Licensed in MA and RI...
Al and Cal's primary areas of service Franklin, Bellingham, Medway, Millis, Medfield, Norfolk, Wrentham, Plainville, Blackstone, Walpole, Milford, Holliston, Hopkinton, Mansfield, and Foxboro, North Attleboro, Norwood, Hopedale, Mendon, Millville but have resourses to help anyone, anywhere....
Her mission.... To exceed your expectations!