Townhomes and condos are an increasingly popular housing option with many types of homebuyers. In areas where single-family housing has become increasingly expensive, this type of housing can be easier to afford.
In addition to price, living in a condo or townhome also offers freedom from the cost and time commitment required to handle exterior maintenance and lawn care. It can also provide a welcome sense of security that appeals to a wide range of homebuyers. If you are interested in purchasing your first condo or townhome, here are four important tips to help you enjoy the best purchasing and homeownership experience.
Make sure the location is a good fit
The first thing to consider is whether the location of the condo development is a good fit for your daily needs. A good way to do this is to take a drive or walk through the area to look for the development's proximity to basic shopping, restaurants, public transportation, medical care, and entertainment opportunities. If you own a car, you should also be sure to ensure that adequate parking and convenient street access are included.
Review the HOA Fees and Rules
Exterior maintenance, including upkeep of common use areas, costs for security, and periodic updates to the structure, such as the installation of a new roof, is covered by the fees that each condo or townhome owner pays on an annual or monthly basis. Buyers will want to carefully review the HOA agreement and the fees it requires to make sure that both are also reasonable and affordable.
Prospective purchasers will also want to carefully review the rules that the development has in place for residents and how infractions and complaints are handled in order to ensure they will feel comfortable when living there.
Explore the complex and speak with current owners
In addition to carefully reviewing all documentation, prospective purchasers should also consider attending an upcoming HOA meeting, as well as exploring the complex to meet and talk candidly with owners. These conversations can be very helpful in scoping out the actual level of satisfaction owners feel as residents and any issues or problems that are not being adequately addressed.
Work with an experienced real estate professional
The best tip is to always work closely with a real estate professional who has considerable experience in handling condo and townhome sales. These agents can help buyers choose the best developments to consider and provide them with answers to any questions about the HOA agreements and other important details involved in purchasing a high-quality, comfortable condo or townhome.