Important Questions To Ask When Buying a Condo in Florida
Thinking of giving the condo life a try? There are a few questions you’ll want answered before deciding on a complex. By talking to residents, reviewing public records, and paying close attention to other data, you should be able to answer the following pivotal questions below.
What’s the Inventory?
If you see quite a few units for sale, ask around to find out why. It could be a coincidence or simply how the market is leaning, but if there is a trend, it’s always good to know why.
Are There Maintenance Issues?
What’s the overall condition of the unit you’re interested in? Ensure it’s been properly cared for and has undergone regular maintenance to prevent future concerns.
How Are Complex Grounds?
Well-manicured grounds suggest that the complex cares not just about its appearance, but the comfort of its residents.
How Are the Neighbors?
Just as you should when buying or renting a single-family home, talk to the neighbors around the unit you’re considering. Visit during times you may normally need a quieter environment to ensure the community aligns with your needs.
What Are CC&R Specifics Regarding Your Unit?
What if you want to brighten up the exterior color of your door? Do the CC&Rs allow you to paint? Can you have decorative items sitting in front of your condo?
Is Subletting Allowed?
Can you rent your unit to an outside party and collect rent? Even though you own the condo, the association may not allow subletting.
How Many Units Are Rented?
If subletting is allowed, how many units are rented? Some lenders have concerns over complexes with high rental rates and may not approve a loan.
Who’s in Charge?
Who is the management company, and what is its history? Does it have a track record for professionalism and do other residents have mostly positive feedback?
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Is There Reserved Parking?
Do you have a designated spot? How about guests? You want to make sure you’re guaranteed a space near your unit and your guests have somewhere nearby to park.
What’s the Available Storage?
Does your unit have an attached utility closet or attic for added storage? Some complexes even offer separate garages for storage for an additional fee.
Is There Security?
Are the grounds patrolled by a security company? Is there a gate, and does somebody guard it 24/7? Having any type of security is an added comfort for residents.
Is Management Responsive?
If you report issues, can you expect a swift response? Ask other residents how long it takes for their issues to typically be resolved.
What Are the Association Fees?
Find out how much you’re paying monthly and where that money goes. You’ll get a copy of the CC&Rs when you buy, but ask for these details upfront for full transparency before buying.
Is the Board Cohesive?
A well-run complex will have a board that is generally in tune with one another. However, some agreement amongst board members is expected. Request the board meeting minutes for a glimpse at how they work together.
What is the Financial Status?
As a member of the community, residents have a right to know if there are debts owed or where monthly fees go to. Reviewing financial information is a good way to determine how well a community is run.
Is There a Reserve?
The association should have money set aside for improvements and emergencies. Does it? This money is used to fund renovations and community maintenance without special assessments.
Is There Pending Litigation?
Is the management company facing lawsuits pertaining to the community or is there litigation that may require a new election? It’s good to know everything happening in the complex.
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Is Insurance Needed?
The complex may have insurance, but what items of yours does it cover? Typically, blanket insurance covers the complex and grounds. You may need to pick up your own plan for your personal items.
Are There Assessments Owed?
Did the previous owner of your unit still owe assessments? If so, can they be paid off before you purchase the unit?
How Many Units Are in Arrears?
Are other residents paying their association dues? What percentage still owes from previous months?