Top questions to ask before buying a condominium
The questions to ask when buying a condo found below are something every buyer should consider when purchasing this type of housing. I would be willing to bet that many of these questions are nothing that many buyers would have ever thought to ask. After reading I am sure you will agree they are super important!
What are the condo association rules?
There is no question that buying a condo is a lot different than buying a home. There are a tremendous amount of details that every buyer faces when purchasing a home from getting a home inspection, to procuring a mortgage, to purchasing home insurance, to deciding whether Real Estate title insurance is a good idea. Buying a condo typically involves all of these things plus a whole lot more. There are questions that every buyer should ask before buying a condominium.
One of the biggest things buyers fail to understand about buying a condo is that they will usually be buying into a community where there are rules and regulations that must be followed. It is not like owning a home where the majority of the time you are able to make improvements such as adding shrubbery, planting a garden, or putting up a fence if you like.
Unlike a home, with a condo you own from the walls in. The outside of a condominium is owned by a democracy where you must abide by the rules. The point here is that you are not the king of your castle when owning a condo. Many condo communities either have an outside condo association with a management company involved or a direct home owners association where all the home owners decide what can and can’t be done.
Investigating the condo rules and regulations are an important consideration especially if you are used to the freedom of not having to answer to anyone else. I can tell you first hand there are some condo neighborhoods where the people that make up the rules do so just to make your life miserable. Just picture that crotchety old person that has nothing better to do than complain about every little thing they see. Their self importance is on display at every turn. This is not to say that every condominium community is like this but it sure pays to find out before making a purchase!
If planting a garden is important to you, ask before buying. Think you might want to add a patio? Be sure to ask if this is even possible. One of the things that I have heard from some of my past buyer’s is how surprised they are about the stringency of the rules at the condo community in which they live.
Besides finding out what can be done aesthetically to your townhouse, one of the major considerations for many folks is the condominiums pet policy. Some condo developments do not allow pets at all. Some have restrictions on the number and size of the pet you can have. The last you want to find out is that Fluffy is not allowed to come with you!
Lastly, you will also want to make certain that there are no amendments to the condo by-laws up coming which may deter you from wanting to purchase.
How much are the condo fees?
Another key question to ask when buying a condominium is how much are the condo fees and what exactly do they cover. Condominium association fees are typically based on how many homes there are, what it costs to run the community, whether there is a professional management company, and if there are funds set aside for major repairs or an unforeseen lawsuit.
The condo fees from community to community can also cover vastly different things. Some of these things may or may not be important to you. Possible considerations of what could be included in the condominium fees are the following:
Exterior maintenance of the building grounds maintenance including landscaping, lawn mowing, and snow plowing Master insurance Water and sewer services Road maintenance Trash pick up. In some condo neighborhoods you may find that there are frills that you end up paying for in the condo fee that you may not need or want such as a pool, tennis courts, or recreation center that may also include a gym. If you do not have need for such things this could factor into your buying decision.
Is the complex professionally managed?
There are some condominiums that are under professional management and others that are run by a home owner’s association (HOA). You should find out which is the case at the neighborhood you are considering.
If it under professional management you will want to get the contact information for them and give them a call. Often times they are a great information source for anything you could possible want to know about the complex.
If the neighborhood is not professionally managed you will want to speak to the head of the home owners association. This person will should also be well versed as to the goings on of the complex.
How much money is in the reserve fund?
One of the more important questions to ask when buying a condo is how much money is contained in the reserve fund. This becomes important because it establishes the financial health of the association. You want to know if the association has budgeted enough money in the event that an unforeseen expense arises.
As a general rule a repair/reserve fund should contain about 10% of the annual revenue budget if the complex is under ten years old. If the neighborhood is older than ten years, the budget should be closer to 25% or more on hand for major expenses. Just like anything else the older the buildings are the more maintenance they will require.
While some condo neighborhoods may seem to have super low condo fees, you need to find out if they are funding their reserves properly so you are not stuck with a major expense at some point down the road.
Finding out how much money is in the reserve fund will help partially determine the financial health of the neighborhood. There are also a couple other questions you will want to ask as well when considering buying into a particular condo neighborhood.
One of them is what is the delinquency rate of the owners paying condo fees? You obviously don’t want to be caught in a neighborhood where a large number of owners are not paying their condo fees. Another key financial question is whether or not the condo complex is on the FHA approved list for financing eligibility.
FHA which stands for The Federal Housing Administration which is a government entity that backs loans in USA. The FHA program is one of the most popular out there for home buyer’s due to the reduced down payment requirements which are only 3.5% down. This is a key question to ask when buying a condo because it is of great benefit for a complex to be FHA approved. In today’s real estate environment this is the financing route many buyer’s prefer to take!
Are there any special assessments coming up?
A special assessment is typically a one time fee that will cover a large expenditure needed in the neighborhood. For example maybe all the roofs need to be replaced on all of the buildings. This obviously would be a very large expense.
Sometimes rather than taking it out of the reserve fund a special assessment will be made where it becomes a short term expenditure. If your condo fee was normally $350 per month it may jump to $400 for a certain amount of time. Of course if you are considering buying into the neighborhood you will want to have this information for budgeting purposes. This is definitely a question you want to ask before buying a condo not when you have already purchased and find yourself with a large unexpected bill.
Are there any lawsuits against the condo complex?
Yet another important questions to ask before buying a condo is whether there are any legal concerns! You should make sure there are no pending lawsuits which could in some way impact you financially somewhere down the road. There could be any number of reasons why there may be a lawsuit.
Maybe the home owners have a lawsuit going against the developer for not completing something in the complex or shoddy construction which has caused some kind of issue. Most of the time this is not a major consideration but at least worth investigating.
What is the condominium rental policy?
Finding out the rental policy is a very important question to ask when buying a condo for a couple of reasons. A high number of renters within the complex can have a few negative effects. Condo’s that are not used as the primary residence of the home owner often are more likely to default on a loan than an owner occupied residence.
Many lenders are therefore more reluctant to loan on a condominium that has a high percentage of renters. Renters also do not always have the same pride of ownership. As a result, the property may not be kept as well as if the owner were present. There is also the possibility they may not follow the rules as closely as the owner would.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two mortgage giants, may not finance in a complex where there are too many non owner occupied units. The typical owner occupancy rate that lenders look for is at least two thirds. Over the years Fannie and Freddie Mac have learned that when the real estate market turns sour there are far more units foreclosed on in complexes where there is high investor ownership.
When foreclosures are taking place, condo fees often times are not paid so associations have to defer maintenance. Innocent owner occupants can then find themselves held hostage in units which are getting run down, losing value, and stigmatized in the eyes of Realtors and home buyers.
The ability to get a mortgage on a property is not only important when you are a buyer, but also later, when you are trying to sell your home. The last thing you want is to own a non mortgageable property in the future.
On the other side of the coin what if you find you need to move but the condo has lost value since you purchased it. You may want to rent it instead of selling if you are going to take a big financial hit. You may find out you can’t rent if there is a rule on the amount of units that can be rented at any one time. Again this is a question to find out before you sign a purchase agreement NOT after!
What is the parking situation?
The parking situation from one condo complex to another can vary greatly. This is an important consideration especially if you have lived in a home before and are used to having guests over quite a bit. There are some condo complexes where you may be granted one or two “deeded” parking spaces in which you become the legal owner for such space.
This means you are the only one who is entitled to park in that designated spot and another owner could not legally park there. They are typically located right in front of or in close proximity to your unit. There are other condo communities where you do not have a deeded parking spot and it is “first come first serve”.
Many condo complexes also have areas where there is dedicated guest parking. People who come and visit are directed to park in these specific areas. This is an important questions to ask before you have signed your offer to purchase contract not when the moving truck is putting your furniture inside the unit.
Who fixes what?
You are going to want to know exactly what you are responsible for in terms of maintenance expenses. For example one of the grey areas in many condo developments is who is responsible for replacing the windows? This is obviously a big expense when the time comes. Is this something the condo association is responsible for or is it yours?
Another example of a grey area is balconies and porches. In some condo’s you are given the option of having a balcony or porch. Make you look at the master deed as well as the unit deed to make sure who actually owns the porch. The porch may be attached to your unit but do you truly own it? In other words are you the one who will pay for repair and maintenance or is that the condo associations responsibility?
Will I need to move in the near future?
There are some excellent reasons to own a condo such as affordability, the need to downsize, or possibly not wanting to have the maintenance headaches that are associated with owning a home. You do however, want to keep in consideration that condo’s typically do not appreciate at the same rate that homes do.
Condominium values have also dropped a lot more in the last Real Estate correction than single family homes as a whole.
While it can be hard to predict what will happen in the future, if things follow previous trends, what you realize in appreciation may be a smaller figure than a home. This makes it even more important to figure out if you really want to live in a particular condominium development.
As you can see there are lots of questions to ask before buying a condominium. It makes sense to do your home work so you are not only happy the day you buy but years into the future!
“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” – Maya Angelou
I have known Charles Vincent Kauwasha for many long years now since we first met in Accident and Emergency department of Hutt Hospital Lower Hutt New Zealand, where he was an emergency nurse. I had a problem with my heart and very quickly learnt to trust him with my life! we got talking about our businesses and exchanged contact details. Charles has been a loyal friend and business contact here and on whatsapp etc ever since that time, even after he moved from New Zealand to Australia. Charles is a very honest, loyal and trustworthy person, both in business and as a friend. I highly recommend Charles as a safe person to know and do business with.
Charles has provided me with many – free but easy to use marketing tools. If you are new to affiliate marketing – Charles is the best person to go to
With his humble beginnings overseas, Charles would be a perfect mentor for someone feeling trapped with not much to look forward to in future. Listen to his story and be amazed and inspired… starting with nothing to where he is! He will teach you about the power of perseverance. Well done Charles
A unique and profound CEO I have seen in our times, I have seen the calibre in Charles. Charles has a performing influence drive from his desires to do work in an extraordinary way. Charles is adeliver, you will not regret working on projects with him
I Studied with Vincent Kaluwasha during this programme. A highly skilled and knowledgeable individual. Passionate about Occupational Health and would suitably work in the is capacity anywhere in the world”.
JACOB JOSEPH SAKALA-NURSE CONSULTANT
Charles is a man with a great deal of integrity and takes pride in his work
I’ve known Charles for many years and every encounter has been a happy one….he has a wonderful attitude towards life. He is a man of integrity
C J Investiment helped me to secure my first investment with couple of weeks. I will recommend their services to anyone looking for best investment in any city or country
I have seen how Charles has evolved from nothing to setting up a real estate portfolio with determination -Jessica McDade He is a man of integrity and passion who leaves a stone unturned!
All the developers of D5 Creation have come from the disadvantaged part or group of the society. All have established themselves after a long and hard struggle in their life
Thanks to you Charles, we can be there when the worst happens to give people the emergency medical care they need – and rapid transport to hospital. Your support means that CareFlight can fly at a few minutes’ notice, to some of the most inhospitable places in this country. It means patients like Simon can be reached quickly with hospital-level emergency care at the scene – and in cases like Simon’s every minute counts.
On behalf of everyone at CareFlight, thank you for your generosity – and have a wonderful holiday season. Thank you so much
Dear CVK, Awesome, a huge thank you for your prompt response!!! I feel blessed to know you.I love your inspiring video and I have learnt a lot from your nicely arranged presentation. I can’t remember the question I paused to you myself but it feels like whatever it was I asked you has been effectively dealt with in your powerful video. By the way, I strongly feel you can make a good mentor of mine considering the massive education and experience you have acquired through the years. Let me know if you can do this for me because I firmly believe there is a purpose why God brings certain people into our lives which is to help us achieve our fullest potential and arrive at our God-given destiny. Remain blessed forevermore in Jesus mighty name, Amena!!! By the way, many thanks for your quick encouraging feedback and for the free book offer on how to attract people to my biz.Will study the book ASAP and I should be able to implement what I will learn and will see where that will take me. I am looking forward to a rewarding interaction between the two of us. Once again, thank you for your non-wavering support and encouragement you have rendered to me over the years. I thought you had given up on me and forgotten about me since I appeared to be wasting your time. I am still interested in salvaging my life and do something new and big because I am tired and sick of living a mediocre kind of life. Please help me if you can by God’s grace. Have a blessed day my Brotherman
Charles, right now, a lot of people in this country are saying, “Thank you.”Thank you for being there when they needed help most. Thank you for taking charge when their world was turning upside down. Thank you for giving them confidence, when they were afraid and needed life-saving help. As a CareFlight Support Crew Member, you are making such a difference for so many people. Your regular donations help save lives and keep families together. Patients like Thomas, who told us, “You made it possible for me to survive.”And Agnes, who said, “I’m very grateful a service like CareFlight exists.”Below are some more messages of thanks: Thanks from the patients you help. As we head into another year, we know there will be even more people who will call on our services. So, I’d like to add my heartfelt thanks to those of our patients, for your steadfast support. Together we are ensuring CareFlight is always there for people when they call for our help. Whether it’s intubating a patient at the scene of an accident, or ensuring a newborn is safe on a flight from a remote area to a major hospital for treatment, our patients cannot speak highly enough of the care they receive. Charles, that care is part of a chain that starts with people like you. These expressions of gratitude, from all over the country and from all walks of life, show you how much your support is valued – and how much it is needed, more than ever. We can’t do what we do without you.
If this year has taught us anything so far, it’s that none of us ever truly know what is around the corner.
That’s why I can’t thank you enough for your support that ensures we can continue to provide life-saving aeromedical care to Australians most in need.
Our CareFlight crews are in a unique position to understand what Australians have been going through. Every day, we care for people who have found their world shaken by a sudden accident or illness – coping with circumstances almost none expected to face when they woke up that morning.
People like Simon Bowman don’t like to rely on others for help. But one day, as he lay trapped inside his car after a terrible road accident, with suspected injuries to his spine and shoulder and a possible head trauma, Simon needed life-saving help desperately. CareFlight was there in a matter of minutes.
CareFlight’s rapid response helicopter service is so vital in situations like this. Our crew can be airborne in minutes and by the side of our patient, delivering hospital-level emergency care as fast as possible.
Simon doesn’t remember much about his accident, but he does recall the voices of the CareFlight crew as they worked urgently to treat his injuries. Simon told us: “I knew there was someone looking after me and that I was in good hands.”
Our mission is to deliver people the very best care. We’ve spearheaded international aeromedical innovations such as our stretcher bridge system and become the first civilian service to carry blood plasma to the scene of an accident.
The care, the state-of-the-art equipment, those voices which reassure patients that they are in the hands of skilled professionals they can trust – it’s all thanks to people like you.
Simon has recovered and recently visited our base to meet some of the crew. He has never forgotten the help he received from CareFlight, so meeting them again was an emotional experience.
Seeing the helicopter that transported him to hospital, he was amazed at its size. He confessed he’d never been that keen on helicopters, “but I was very keen that one was there that day.”
Your support for CareFlight is helping to save so many lives, like Simon’s.
Thank you so much.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CEO!! peacemaker, Shepherd, wise, intelligent, focused, hardworking, caring, loving, forgiving, Husband, Granddad and most importantly best Father Charles V. Kaluwasha. We’ve been truly blessed to have you as our mentor and protector. We thank God for keeping you alive and healthy. Today we celebrate your 60th, a blessed milestone! Next, we count down to your 100th BIRTHDAY. WE LOVE YOU and pray we have you as our father in the next life- @Kendy Kaluwasha
Charles is a very intelligent individual and is very knowledgeable in regards to the Australian Real Estate market. We continue to work a long side each other and we will be for a very long time. He is a much needed asset to my business and growth of my business in the future.
Charles, is very knowledgeable about real estate and great person to connect with. He teaches what he has done himself.
My great sponsor, you inspired me a lot, you are really God sent, to make life better for me, I will not hide it from you, that I really have a little bit of financial contains, because all what I was saving for my travel I left 60%of the money to take care of my two children, to buy a bag of rice and different foods stuff. so here in Monrovia I don’t want to sit idle I just want to start some clothing business, so I am pleading what everything you help me with for the sake of God Almighty, God will surely triple it in return. Thanks sir and God bless you the great man one day you will be the richest man in Zambia, God bless you. I pray that the money will grow more than ten billion dollars. Amen sir, thank you sir, one day you will be a leader in Zambia, by the Grace of God, that my vision for you sir.
Thank you sir hope your work and business expand. Greatness is your portion on a daily basis. You inspire many to pursue their dream, so good to see you pave the way.
You are just not any other resource mwanta, but a creative, proactive and as sharp as a double-edged sword. I love the way you have put together connected opportunities available in our programme and the turning of light by the blind buddy. This is awesome, This is incredible!! https://www.entredevec.com/
Hello. How was the day?
Mine was fine, and I was reading the testimonies people are presenting about you.
You are great, and I want to learn from you.
I am really impressed with your work, experience and expertise. Continue helping us.
The book Launch speech
On 25 November, my co-authors and I had to present our speeches.
One week later, this is what people had to say…
Mwebantu…who has @Charles Kaluwasha speech at the book launch 😄
It was POWERFUL-Cranston
I tell you, that was captivating I don’t think people remembered to press record.
For the book am reading ba @Charles Kaluwasha story and while reading am imagining it being told just like the speech 😀. -Cranston
I hope someone captured it; maybe check the zoom recording as well.
He was on fire 🔥 🔥🔥🔥🔥
It was fun to listen to. –Cranston
Personally, I can confess…after technical difficulties and having to personally meet and speak to the VIPs I invited…it was VERY refreshing to sit in the audience and just take in what you had to say. It was so good 😄-Cranston
Yeah, he was on fire…I thought he was going to make a book launch altar call 😄. There was so much energy, and time was not our best ally; otherwise, we were going to spend a night there.- Paster Kennedy Phiri
The story is also good, so authentic and inspiring. If I was not yet abroad, that is the story I would like to read.
The speech made me want to read it first, despite being the last reading 📖.-Theresa D’Amaden