Buying a condo on the water is something many people dream of doing. For those who are looking to upgrade to the high-rise lifestyle, a condo can offer the luxury, comfort, and convenience you’re seeking. However, there are few essential questions to ask when buying a condo so that you can make a confident, well-informed decision.
If you’re searching for a condo in the Isle of Palms, SC area, contact Jimmy Carroll Realty to discover your dream property!
Is There Plenty of Storage Space?
When you buy a single-family home, garages, large closets, attics, and basements serve as convenient storage spaces. However, not all condos offer these same facilities. If you’re downsizing, it is essential to know exactly how much storage space you will have so that your new home isn’t cluttered and crowded. Ask if there is a way to purchase or rent additional space if you need it.
What Do The Monthly Association Fees Cover?
When you own a single-family residence, you are typically responsible for all of the repairs and maintenance on your home. Generally, you pay HOA dues to help cover the cost of community-wide maintenance issues. But things work a little bit differently when you are buying a condo.
It is important to find out exactly how much your HOA fees will cost. Also note that it is not uncommon for HOA fees to increase every year or every other year. That being said, you should ask about the predicted increase in fees before you sign any contracts.
You should also be aware of what your HOA dues cover. Usually, part of your monthly HOA fee goes toward the condo reserve fund, and the rest of it generally covers a variety of items from garbage collection to the maintenance of the condominium’s amenities.
What Rules Do I Need To Be Aware Of?
As you begin your search for a condo, you’ll be looking for a unit and complex that directly reflects your lifestyle. For example, if you plan to have people over regularly and you like to entertain, you’ll want to make sure there aren’t any rules within the complex that will prevent this. Some condos have strict noise regulations and a maximum number of guests that you’re allowed to have over at one time.
In addition, some complexes have strict pet policies, while others have rules about how you can alter or change the look of your condo (paint, shutters, etc.). Make sure you ask for a copy of the condominium’s rules, and read them over carefully before making a decision.
What Can I Expect From Management?
A competent and professional management team will play a significant role in how comfortable you are living in your condo. Because you are paying monthly HOA dues, you want to ensure that your money is being handled responsibly and that you can trust management to take care of any issues you may have. Some questions that you should ask the management team before you buy a condo include:
- Is the community inspected regularly?
- How long does your team take to respond to calls and emails?
- Is there a community website? If so, is its maintenance included in the monthly management fee?
- What hours can the community manager be reached?
- Does the management company inspect lots after a homeowner moves out and before the next one moves in?
What Should I Know About Parking, Pets, And Maintenance?
If you’re used to a certain lifestyle, again, you want to choose a complex that allows you to maintain that lifestyle. With this in mind, you need to consider policies that extend beyond the basic features of the unit. Consider asking the following before you make a decision:
- Parking Policies. Ask about the parking policies. Will you have your own designated spot? What is the policy for guest parking?
- Pet Regulations. If you are moving with a pet, ask about the breed and weight restrictions. In addition, ask if there are any fees you will be responsible for paying to cover your pet.
- Maintenance. When you own a condo, most basic home repairs are taken care of by a maintenance team. However, it is important not to assume that every issue and repair will be covered. Ask specifically about what can be fixed by maintenance and if it is covered by the HOA. Also ask about what you are responsible for fixing and taking care of yourself.
Is There Any Litigation Going On?
There’s nothing worse than signing a contract for a new place only to find out that there is a pending lawsuit or litigations against the complex. This is important information to know upfront before signing any contracts. Ask if there is or has been any drawn-out litigation between the condominium complex and the builder. Even if there isn’t any litigation currently standing, it’s important to know if there ever has been and how it was addressed.
What Is The Status Of The Reserve?
Buying a condo can be one of the most significant financial decisions of your life. You are putting a lot of money into an investment that you hope will enhance your quality of life. One way to ensure that the condo you choose is well taken care of and will benefit you in the long run is to ask about the current status of the reserve. Every condominium complex has a reserve fund which is used to pay for repairs and maintenance throughout the complex. This could include paying for a new roof, maintaining pools, upgrading the clubhouses, etc.
Most condominium complexes will set aside anywhere between 15% and 40% of their annual assessments to go toward expensive maintenance issues, landscaping, and repairs. If the condominium complex is not willing to give you this information or does not have at least 10% saved in a reserve, it could be a red flag.
Jimmy Carroll Can Help You Find The Perfect Condo
Whether you are retiring, downsizing, or buying a second home, Jimmy Carroll Realty can help you find the perfect condo for this next chapter of your life. With over 20 years of real estate experience in the Isle of Palms area, the Jimmy Carroll Realty team can answer all of your condo-related questions.