Factors To Consider With Condo Ownership

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Factors To Consider In Condo Ownership

Condo ownership as referred to this narrative will include condos, patio homes, and town homes.  They are all fairly synonymous in their organization. 

Condo ownership is "community living."  A group of homeowners have a formal structure to govern their complex and share the expenses of maintenance and upkeep.  This "structure" is defined in the Master Deed, Bylaws, and Rules and Regulations of the complex.  These documents explain what you can and can't do and who is responsible for expenses.    They are designed to promote growth in property values and to insure that all owners have quiet enjoyment of their condo.  As a part of your condo purchasing experience, you should obtain a copy of these documents and review them to see if you have any objections.    

If you want to live in "party central," condominium living is probably not the place to go.  This is not to imply that condos are the haven of the "nearly dead."  Today's complexes are quite a mixture of retired folks, professional people, owners of all ages and family status - but "party central" doesn't normally fit with every owner's rights to quiet enjoyment of their property. 

What are the most common benefits of condominium ownership?  Some of these include:

  • Given a certain purchasing power, you will live in a nicer physical unit, in a nicer area of town than you would if you were buying a single family home.  Why??  Since you're generally not buying the land, you allocate all of your purchasing power to the structure or the location.
  • You have the freedom to come and go without much of the maintenance responsibility of your home.  If you lead a very busy lifestyle, are not handy, or have physical limitations, this lifestyle could be for you.
  • You share the costs of maintenance with other owners which can offer efficiencies.
  • It SHOULD be a quieter environment in which to live. 

Are there potential pitfalls in condo ownership or the acquisition?  Yes, there are, and here is my personal advice for you...YOU NEED A QUALIFIED REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL TO GUIDE YOU THROUGH THESE HURDLES. 

In today's market, the most significant hurdle is financing.  If you can pay cash, there is no hurdle.  Most people, however, have to get a loan for at least part of the purchase.  Banks today are hesitant to lend money on condos.  It's the fault of the condo markets in other areas of the country like Las Vegas, Florida, Arizona, and California.  There have been massive failures of loans and values in these markets and lending parameters have been altered dramatically.  Condo sales are approximately 14% of the sales market here in Louisville while in other areas of the country they may be as much as 50% or more.  While I don't like it, I can somewhat see why the banks are over-reacting.  There are complexes that are more likely to qualify for financing than others.  The solution to this problem...WORK WITH A REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL and a KNOWLEDGEABLE LENDER.

You must do a thorough investigation of the condo association while you're negotiating to purchase the condo unit itself.  Are the unit owners paying their dues?  Are there lawsuits pending within the Association?  Are there budgeted increases in the monthly fee?  Are there resale issues with any aspect of the condo complex?  How do you get the answers to these questions and insure a good outcome with your purchase...WORK WITH A REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL. 

Please feel free to review the entire condo listing inventory on my site.  I'm here to help you with your condo purchase.  I've been successfully helping families and individuals buy and sell real estate in the Louisville area for over 25 years.  I have hundreds of successful customers and have guided them through over $100,000,000 of real estate sales...

I can help you!

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