James A. Wood's Blog
Florida is one of the best places in the country to buy a beach condo. Whether you’re looking to become a permanent resident or want to use the home as a vacation rental, there is plenty of opportunity for you. Condo living is advisable for those people who don’t want a ton of maintenance to deal with and wish to have a simpler way of life. Before you dive in, you’ll need to be sure that you do the proper research to make the condo purchase that much easier to manage in the future.
Condos can be lower maintenance living for you as a homeowner, but you’ll need to consider the costs involved in owning a condo in Florida. There are different fees involved with owning a condo than that of a traditional home. Most condos require you to belong to the HOA (homeowner’s association) which has a monthly fee that covers maintenance and upkeep of the property. The fee also covers any amenities that may be present on the property like a pool or fitness center. The HOA fees vary based on the type of property you choose and the complex that it resides in.
Look At The Style Of The Complex
This may seem slightly obvious when you’re searching for a condo, but there’s a special reason behind it. The less intricate the style of building that you’ll be living in, the easier the maintenance will be. A garden style complex is a lot lower on the maintenance scale than an ornate building with high ceilings. Tower condos with elevators will also always have a bit more maintenance involved due to the mechanical nature of the working parts of the building.
Know What The HOA Fees Cover
An important thing to consider when buying a Florida condo is that of what the HOA fees cover. You’ll most likely need to pay your own taxes and homeowner’s insurance. The HOA fees will take care of the upkeep of the property and some maintenance tasks around your condo itself. You may need to cover additional maintenance costs in your unit yourself.
Know The Rules
Every Homeowner’s association has its own set of rules and regulations. You’ll want to know exactly what the layout of these terms are before you buy a Florida condominium. Does the association allow pets? will you be allowed to rent out the property? Are you allowed to plant and decorate as you wish, or are there restrictions?
Whether you’re looking to be a seasonal resident in Florida, or be in the state the whole year through, buying a beach condo can be a great investment for you to get some much needed oceanside enjoyment.
After you complete a condo inspection, you'll need to make a major decision: Should you move forward with your condo purchase or rescind your offer?
Ultimately, there are several important questions to assess before you finalize your decision on a condo, including:
1. What was discovered during the property inspection?
Study the results of a condo inspection closely. By doing so, you'll be able to learn about a condo's strengths and weaknesses and plan accordingly.
A property inspector will evaluate a condo both inside and out. He or she also will provide honest, unbiased feedback, enabling you to make an informed decision about how to proceed with a condo.
Take into account major and minor condo problems that a property inspector discovers. And if this inspector finds minor flaws associated with a condo, you may want to stay the course and move forward with your initial proposal.
On the other hand, if a property inspector finds significant problems with a condo, i.e. issues that may prove to be costly and time-consuming, you may want to consider rescinding your offer. Or, in this case, you can always ask the condo owner to complete property repairs before you finalize a condo purchase.
2. How much will it cost to perform assorted condo repairs?
The costs associated with condo repairs will vary. However, if you allocate the time and resources to learn about condo problems and the costs associated to fix these issues, you may be able to avoid expensive, time-intensive mistakes.
For example, consider what might happen if a property inspector discovers a defective kitchen light switch in a condo. Although this light switch is a problem, the time and costs needed to repair or replace the faulty light switch likely are minimal. As such, a condo buyer may choose to ignore this problem, or a condo owner may be willing to complete the fix quickly.
Conversely, consider what could happen if a property inspector finds that a condo's furnace is defective. It may cost thousands of dollars to fix or replace a faulty furnace. As a result, a condo buyer may ask the property seller to repair or replace the defective furnace. And if the condo owner fails to do so, a buyer may choose to walk away from the condo purchase altogether.
3. Can I enjoy this condo both now and in the future?
It is essential to consider both the short- and long-term ramifications of a condo purchase. That way, a condo buyer can determine whether a property can serve him or her well for years to come.
A property inspection offers valuable information that a buyer can use to assess the pros and cons of purchasing a condo. Furthermore, a condo buyer who works with an experienced real estate agent can get the support needed to make the best decision possible.
Consider the aforementioned questions as you evaluate your options following a condo inspection, and you should have no trouble deciding whether a particular condo is right for you.
Want to relocate to a condo? Buying a condo can be an uphill climb, particularly for homebuyers who are browsing the real estate market for the first time. Fortunately, real estate agents are available who will allocate the necessary time and resources to ensure you can find a top-notch condo in no time at all.
Ultimately, hiring the right real estate agent to assist you during your condo search can be easy. Here are three questions that you should ask a real estate agent before you hire him or her to guide you during your condo search:
1. How have you helped condo buyers in the past?
Ask a real estate agent about his or her past experience with condo buyers – you'll be glad you did. With this information at your disposal, you can find out how a real estate professional collaborates with condo buyers to help them achieve their goals.
A real estate agent should be a good communicator, i.e. someone who keeps condo buyers informed at each stage of the condo buying journey. That way, this real estate professional will keep you up to date about new condos as they become available and ensure you can find a great condo at a budget-friendly price.
When in doubt, be sure to ask for client referrals too. By doing so, you can reach out to a real estate agent's past clients to learn about their condo buying experiences.
2. How do you approach difficult situations?
Unfortunately, the condo buying journey sometimes can be filled with roadblocks along the way. For real estate agents, it is important to remain calm, cool and collected in these situations and do everything possible to limit their impact.
Ask a real estate agent to share details about past condo buying experiences that did not necessarily go according to plan. This will provide you with insights into how a real estate agent approaches unforeseen circumstances and whether he or she can thrive under pressure.
A real estate professional with condo buying experience should do whatever it takes to help his or her client get the best results possible. With this real estate agent at your side, you should have no trouble securing your dream condo, regardless of the challenges that you encounter along the way.
3. Why should I hire you?
There is no right or wrong answer as to why you should hire a real estate agent to help you find a condo. For many condo buyers, it is a gut feeling. Meanwhile, other property buyers will choose a real estate professional based solely on his or her education and past successes.
As a condo buyer, it is important to employ a real estate agent who you will feel comfortable working with at all times. This real estate professional should be happy to help you in any way possible and respond to your condo buying concerns and queries. In addition, he or she will go the extra mile to ensure you can buy a terrific condo that matches or exceeds your expectations.