Buying a condo can be a great choice for many, as it offers lower-maintenance living and other advantages not available in a single-family home.
However, there are things that you will want to keep in mind when starting to look for a condominium. Not the least of them is to ensure you have a great team of experts behind you, including your mortgage professional, your real estate agent and your real estate attorney.
Condos differ from single-family homes in that maintenance for the entire development is managed by the association. This includes landscaping; painting; snow removal, if applicable; and often such items as roof replacement, if required. While this may result in a significant monthly fee, you are spared the burden of having to deal with these issues; this is very much worth the expense for many buyers, especially those who are less able to perform these tasks themselves.
If you are planning on financing a condominium through the FHA, the development needs to be included in the FHA Approved Condo Listings. This means that the FHA has examined the rules and regulations that govern the development and approved it as one that can be financed through the FHA. Your team can help you find whether the condo property you’re interested in has been approved by the FHA.
You and your attorney should look closely at the financial statements of the association. You need to find out if there are any financial or administrative challenges with this particular property that may result in either significantly higher dues at some point or even the folding of the association itself. This is rare, but it does happen. And you don’t want it to happen in your case; prevent this by being an informed consumer and listening to your team.
Discuss financing your condominium with your mortgage professional.