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Smart Questions to Ask Before Purchasing a Condo

Aug 31, 2008
Many homeowners find the condo lifestyle to be highly rewarding, and a smart investment. But there's some investigation to be done before a wise purchase is made. Here's a thorough list of questions to ask, at least consider before you go ahead and purchase a condo.

What is the age of the building?

Is the building air-conditioned?

What sort of security system is in place? Is it 24 hrs?

Is there a parking space included in the purchase price? (ask to see it!)

Is there guest parking, and if so what are the conditions of use?

Is the use of recreational facilities included in the purchase price, or monthly fees? Find out the terms of use for these facilities - are they strictly for the use of owners and their guests, or are they open to the public in any way?

Look into your unit's particular situation. See if it's situated near an elevator or garbage chute. You might second guess a purchase if you know you don't want to live with that sort of intrusion.

What fixtures and features are included in the purchase price?

Are pets allowed, and if so what kinds and sizes of animals are permitted and how many per unit?

Are there rental or lease restrictions on the unit?

Is the renter population over 10%? This may be worrisome if you're looking for a a place to call home. A high rental population has its own set of problems.

What sorts of renovations are permitted, if any?

What is the monthly maintenance fee, and what does this fee include?

To what extent does the condo association's insurance cover you? The insurance should be able to cover the cost of rebuilding the condo, if need be.

How much coverage is in the association's repair fund? The repair fund should be able to cover at least 10% of the cost of items that need replacing or repair.

Has the condo association had any legal issues? Go over the association's bylaws with a real estate lawyer and double check that their bylaws are consistent with state bylaws in which you're purchasing.

Read over the condo association's minutes, so as to get a real sense of the people on the board, and what sort of gripes and complaints have been lodged so far.
About the Author
Philadelphia Real Estate Guide: Find Bella Vista PA real estate for sale. Search MLS listings in this unique Philadelphia market.
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