buying your first home - what you should know

Buying A Condominium? Two Points To Consider Before Closing The Deal

When you're in the market for a new dwelling place, condominiums are a great choice.  Since the exterior portions of the structure are owned by an association, you typically won't have to worry about cutting grass or manicuring shrubbery.  This is especially beneficial if you're a busy professional, or have a growing family that takes up much of your time.  However, there are a few differences between condos and single family homes, so there are important pieces of information that you need to obtain before you make your purchase.  The next time you're ready to buy a condo, learn more about two points to consider before you sign on the bottom line.

Find Out About Association Delinquencies

One of the first things you need to do before buying a condo unit is find out about association delinquencies.  Condominiums are typically run by a homeowner's association, and the costs are split among each condo owner.  You need to make sure that you buy a condo in a location where there are as few association fee delinquencies as possible.  When a large number of homeowners are delinquent on their association fees, it may result in a substantial increase in your monthly fee.  If the increase is relatively high, you may find that it no longer fits your budget.

In addition, you want to live in an area that is well kept.  If people aren't paying their association fees, there may not be enough money available to cover the costs of the landscapers who keep the lawn looking good.  This could affect the curb appeal of your condo if you decide to sell.

Ask the seller of the condo that you're considering if they can obtain a copy of the homeowner's association budget and have them share it with you to find out how many units are delinquent on their fees.

Is There Enough Insurance On The Building?

Another consideration involves the amount of insurance coverage on the building.  While you can certainly get an insurance policy for the contents of your unit, the association is responsible for insuring the structure.  If there isn't enough insurance protection, inclement weather could damage the building and there may not be enough money to pay for repairs.  Request a copy of the master insurance policy and take it to your insurance agent to find out if it's adequate.

Getting the right information before you purchase a condo is a key way to ensure that you're happy with your investment.  Remember these points when you're ready to purchase so you can move in with confidence. Visit for more information.