If you are looking or even just thinking about buying a condominium home in or around Northern Virginia, it’s perfectly natural to feel a little nervous. Buying a condo and owning your own home is a large, life changing purchase. Indeed, any individual thinking about buying a condo needs to know what to expect and how to prepare for those expectations. Below is a short list of 5 essential tips that any condo buyer would do well to consider throughout the process of finding a new condominium home. Happy hunting!
1) Look at Everything in Person
First, remember to look in person at any condo unit you are interested in. It is very important that you make sure to actually see the amenities, parking space, and condo facilities personally. This simple but critical task will avoid any confusion and disappointment later on and will ensure that you are satisfied with your condo purchase. If you absolutely cannot look at the condo in person than ask the seller if you can send a friend you trust to look at the unit instead. In addition, if you are located in a different city than where you are condo shopping, be sure to ask the condo seller or Realtor to send you as many pictures as possible of the condo and the condo building before you make a decision.
2) Carefully review the Condo Association Fees First
Make sure that you know what exactly is included in your condo purchase. What amenities are included in the condo fees to make the condo right for the price? Or, on the other hand, are you going to end up paying for benefits you don’t need? In addition, ask if there is any insurance included. Different condo associations may charge the same amount per month, but one may include some incidental insurance while others may require hefty fees for amenities you may not really need or want. Finally, check the condo association meetings and/or any printed bulletins that result from them. Look for any past or developing issues that you need to take into account.
3) Never Ignore the Documents that Accompany the Condo Purchase
Always review the condominium documents very carefully before you buy. In layman’s terms, don’t ignore the fine print. Here, you should check the total price and property documents to make sure that they are reasonable for the area. Be especially cautious if the price is very low because this could mean you will need a special assessment of the unit, which could cost you a lot of money, later in the future.
4) Always Review Comparable Units for Sale in the Same Building
While every condo building is unique and features different amenities, styles, policies, and location, it is important that you look into other condo units that are for sale or have sold in the same building. Here, do not simply rely on the recent sale price of another unit in the building. Consider what another units’ floor plan was, what views it had, or if it had any special upgrades. Depending on the view and floor of the unit, the price of a one bedroom can vary within a condo building.
5) Work with a Specialist
The condominium marketplace is often a very specialized type of real estate and as such, you should always consider working with a qualified realtor, and particularly one who specializes in condos. With the help of a realtor, you will have access to a greater condominium market which will enable you to find the best condo unit to fit your needs at a price that you can live with.For more information or to set up an appointment call Julie at (703)765-0300.
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Mistake 4: Acting too picky.While you should narrow down what you want and you list features most important to you, don’t be so inflexible that you make it impossible to find a home. If you’re too picky, you may have to continue renting when you could own a home. Be willing to compromise on some of the less important…