condo / home buying

Thinking of buying a condo? Do your homework first

Having lived in a homeowners association for more than 25 years and having recently bought a condo, I’m well aware of the differences between owning a single family home and living in some type of home owners association. A recent article does a great job of explaining what condo (and HOA) owners need to know and ask about before they buy. Deb Hipp wrote:

8 Things to Know Before Buying a Retirement Condo: In many ways, this purchase is much different than buying a house

Note that the same “rules’ apply regardless of whether the purchase if for retirement living.

Buying a Condo Isn’t Like Buying a House

1. What information must the seller provide?
2. Is the reserve fund adequate?
3. What’s in the annual budget?
4. Are there assessments?
5. Is the condo warrantable?
5. Is there pending or potential litigation involving the complex or the unit?
7. What is the master insurance policy deductible?
8. How well-managed is the homeowners’ association? 
Other suggestions:  talk to as many residents as possible to find out what they like and dislike the most about living there, problems they experience, how well they know their neighbors, etc. 

Source: Financial Planning for Women