13 Things New Condo Owners Need to Know
Buying a condo – short for condominium – is very different from buying a house. There are some things to consider before buying a condo! The excellent point is that in many real estate markets, buying a condo can be much cheaper than buying a single-family residence.
A condo is usually a piece of property shared with the owners of each unit or condo. In most cases, condominiums offer amenities, including but not limited to fitness centres, tennis courts, and swimming pools. Many people buy condos because of the unique lifestyle and an apartment community’s lower maintenance.
When shopping for a condo, it’s essential to understand that every condominium community is different. It is necessary to know that each community has its own community rules, community fees, management company, and facilities. Depending on the region, there may be one to a hundred condominiums, so do your research to find the best match for your needs.
Here are ten tips for buying your first condo.
1- Window Coverings
If you’re a first-time condo dweller, the first thing you should do when moving in is to cover the windows to ensure privacy, especially when unpacking. If you don’t have these items, you can use old curtains, window blinds, or any temporary covering. Moving inside your new apartment unit with expansive open windows will be uncomfortable.
2- Floor Coverings
The first thing you notice when buying a condo unit is the bare floor. You may want to tile or carpet it. If you still need to get old carpets or are ready for tiles, you can use mats and rugs.
3- New Lock and Key
You may want to install new locks and keyholes for security, especially on doors and windows. This can be the best guide for first-time renters, especially if the condo unit is familiar. With old and second-hand keys, it may threaten your security.
4- Cleaning Supplies
A condo dweller wants a clean and disinfected area before moving their belongings inside. Cleaning supplies are essential when you first move into a new home. These include cloths, all-purpose cleaners, household disinfectants, glass cleaners, brooms, sponges, and vacuum cleaners. After cleaning the condo and you want it to smell fresh, you also need fresheners and air fresheners. Dish soap and detergents are essential for the kitchen and laundry.
5- Furniture and Indoor Plants
Necessary furniture includes sofas, chairs and tables. These are needed in the living room to comfort yourself and visitors. After tiring days like moving, there is a need to detox. Live green plants help to absorb stress and provide much-needed oxygen inside an apartment, mainly if the unit is located in a high-rise building.
6- Bedroom Essentials
The bedroom is the most comfortable place for condo dwellers. Sometimes, this is the first room to be prepared. Here it would help you have bed sheets, pillows, blankets, lampshades, bedside tables and some books to enhance relaxation.
7- Basic Equipment
Household appliances are essential in every home. Many condos for rent in the Philippines are available semi-furnished or fully furnished. But if the unit is not provided, you should have a TV, refrigerator, washing machine, iron with ironing board, electric fan, or air conditioner.
8- Condo Insurance
Protecting a condo structure is somewhat complicated because even though you own one or more units, you do not own parts of it. To better understand condo insurance, we must pay attention to what is covered by the “homeowners association” (HOA).
Although there is no legal requirement to purchase condo insurance, your mortgage lender and HOA require you to do so. The problem is that not taking care of the damage to your unit will reduce the value of the adjacent units and the entire building. More details related to this issue are included in the condo contract.
Condo Assignments Terms in Toronto
9- Condo Shared Responsibility
The big question of many people regarding the condominium is its maintenance. Who is responsible for external repairs? Who mows the lawn? Who pays for home appliance breakdowns? All of these must be covered by the condo association’s bylaws and covenants, conditions and restrictions (CCR). There will also be information about common areas, animals and even decor regulations visible. Some forums have very lenient guidelines, while others have stringent and specific rules to follow.
Generally, a condo homeowner will be responsible for maintaining her home and any areas attached to the unit (garage, deck, private yard if applicable). Any object intended to serve a team inside or outside the group (water boiler, valves, gutters, ducts or wiring, etc.) is considered a limited common element; the association’s bylaws must Determine who is responsible for maintaining this unit
10- Condo Association Fees
Condo association fees are essential to know when owning your first condo. It is equally vital to Know precisely what the association fees include and what exceptions apply.
Costs generally include insurance and maintenance. In addition to insurance and maintenance, association fees typically include lawn maintenance, snow removal (if applicable), landscaping, water, sewer service, road maintenance, and trash collection. In some cases, community fees can even include heating and electricity!
A portion of the associated fee can be kept if an apartment complex hascentresonal amenities such as pools, fitness centres, tennis courts, or a clubhouse. If these extras aren’t your thing, you must understand that you’re still responsible for the fees.
11- Forum Rules
Since most condos are near each other, the community association will have rules and regulations. Because of this, many communities will have different rules and regulations to keep the community “peaceful”! It’s important to understand that, unlike a family home, you can’t make your own rules and do whatever you want. In many cases, buyers don’t bother to check the forum rules and instead have their lawyer check on their behalf.
Many communities restrict the type of pets or limit the period when any pets are allowed. The last thing you want to know is that your pet is not allowed in the community! Other standard rules in many condo communities relate to whether or not a unit can be rented or whether there are quiet hours. If you’ve had to deal with a bad neighbor in the past, you can understand why these rules are an essential part of an apartment community!
12- Special Assessments.
First, it is essential to understand what special assessment is. A special assessment is usually a hefty fee to cover a vital project for the community. An example of a significant project considered a special assessment is structural repairs to a condo.
Why is this important for first-time condo buyers? Association fees may increase for a specific period if a special assessment is in plans. For example, an apartment with a monthly association fee of $400 could rise to $500 per year to cover the roof replacement cost. Any scheduled unique appraisals must be fully disclosed to the potential buyer.
13- Management and Maintenance Company
Knowing who is maintaining the property is very important! Who is responsible for cleaning public roads? Does an outside company complete the work, or are community residents encouraged to help with maintenance? A poorly maintained condo community can be frustrating and affect future resale!
Most condo communities have a management company. The management company is usually responsible for day-to-day operations. This can include enforcing association rules and regulations, handling resident inquiries, and handling condo finances. When buying your first or tenth condo, the management company is the person to talk to if you have any questions about community rules, regulations or fees. As you can see, the management company plays a vital role in the success or failure of a condo community. If the management company is unresponsive or has a bad reputation, this is something to consider before buying!