Tips in Buying a Condo

Get ready with your checklist

Buying a condo unit is a sound investment. There are different types of condo units with different layouts suited to each individual buyer's need. Condos also come in mid-rise and high-rise categories. A condominium living draws a set of home-buyers. This includes single and mobile young professionals who love the being in the midst of city. It's for those who want to be in the midst of the action ans so location is very important.

Condo living means shared living and common ownership. It is often expensive though limited in space. Condominium units are not getting cheaper one has to contend with smaller spaces, common areas, house rules, expensive parking slots and safety issues.Make sure to got through this checklist before making that important decision.

The Aqua Tower condo (Chicago). Image credit to G. Showman on Flickr (photo requires attribution)
The Aqua Tower condo (Chicago). Image credit to G. Showman on Flickr (photo requires attribution) | Source

1.Know the Developer

You must know the history and the background of the condominium building's developer. Learn about its past projects and feedback from people who have bought units from them. Is there a high rate of people selling their units from this developer?

Spend some time doing your own research which can be done actually or online. Forums are very helpful in this regard. One or a couple of negative feedback for a particular developer could still be doubtful but when you see dozens or hundreds of complaints, that is a red flag and you better think twice or put off buying from that developer. There can be other better options out there.

Do not be enticed or blinded by overly promotional discounts and other offers. If the developer sells their units for a relatively lower cost than the average in the area, think wisely. Pre-selling the units are common, but when you are offered one which is amazingly cheaper, ask when is the actual turnover date. You might be surprised they will give a turnover date way into the future and your money could be tied in an investment or unit that you can't use until three or more years in the future. Remember that turnover dates are just 'tentative', they can be longer or extended.

2. Building Location

Like putting up a business, a condo unit is a major investment and location is important because this often dictates the resale value of the property. Condos in the heart of business districts are relatively more expensive and their value tend to increase. If the building sits right beside a gasoline station, cemetery or other similar areas, this might affect its price in the future in case reselling it is an option.

If possible inquire if the building sits atop any pipeline since it is possible that it would leak and affect the residents of the building. Living in that condo at this time would be like sleeping over a pillow of bombs. Developers know this and it might not tell you about it. In case the developer is honest enough, ask what is the contingent plan in case of a leak.

Image credit to H.L.I.T. on Flickr (image requires attribution for use)
Image credit to H.L.I.T. on Flickr (image requires attribution for use) | Source

3. Where is the unit located?

Consider the location of the unit itself as this matters. A unit location can have its own pros and cons. Naturally, units on the higher floors command higher prices than those in the mid-level or lower floors.

Units high up obviously have greater views than those below. Be aware also if your unit faces the street or smacked into another building's wall. Nobody wants a unit without a view. This would lead to low resale value in the future. So before you sign the dotted line, learn and make sure where that unit is located exactly.

4. Check the furnishings and other minor details in the unit.

These minute details tell a lot so check out the whole condominium project. Examine the materials being used in the raw unit, not the model unit. A raw or a bare unit looks totally different. If a bare unit is already available, examine the furnishings used if the quality is up par.

It is your right to be nit-picky since this is your investment. You may replace doors, counters, cabinets, but the type of materials your developer uses speaks a great deal about the whole project. Observe the door knobs, tiles, type of cabinets, and door hinge. This often tells you is the developer scrimped on the materials, a major red flag that should not be ignored.

5. Check the elevator and other facilities

Elevators are very important as the mode of transportation in a building. Make sure the condo building has enough numbers of elevators and service elevators to meet the needs of future occupants. Think how can you possibly bring any furniture up your unit. Otherwise you are destined to build you furnitures right inside your room or buy those that can be assembled right up. Also, take note of how wide or how big the common hallways are.

6. Building Management

Since condo living means shared spaces, a good management team is important to maintain the whole building. Inquire about who will take charge of this task and do your research. This building management team will also be taking charge of security. Hence, a stellar record would be preferred so problems will not be encountered in the future.

7. Put everything in black and white.

Ensure that everything promised and agreed upon is put in writing. An agent might lure you into buying a condo promising amenities and facilities that may not be part of the total package.

You might have been promised by your agent that your tower will have 4 elevators but find out that after it was completed there are only 2. To avoid this situation put all the of these promises in black and white. It would be easier to get back at them in case they fail on their promises at a later date.

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Comments 7 comments

Lucky Smith 18 months ago

Great article!

Here's a Checklist Before Buying a House or Condo on Pre-Selling Stage that might also help the aspiring condo buyers out there http://blog.condoasia.ph/checklist-before-buying-a...

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gmmurgirl profile image

gmmurgirl 3 years ago from Pilipinas Author

Thank you Kevin! Condos cater to a specific market segment and yes they are in high demand especially in cities. Thank you for reading!


Kevin Vitali profile image

Kevin Vitali 3 years ago from Tewksbury Massachusetts

Nice points made in your article. Condos have done well here in Massachusetts even during the downturn they managed to do all right. Condos provide a certain lifestyle for people on the go.


gmmurgirl profile image

gmmurgirl 4 years ago from Pilipinas Author

Hi brickerllsales1. Thank you for your insight. Indeed buying any property needs a lot of thought and it is best if you have all the necessary information before making that investment. Have a nice day!


brickellsales1 4 years ago

I agree with this post. Buying or owning a condo can be very risky that is why it is advisable to have a proper knowledge first of the unit before you buy it. Buying a condo is a sure investment but it doesn't mean you have to stop there as there are so many things that you need to learn in order to ensure that your money is worth enough or else you might encounter some regrets if afterwards some misfortune happen.


gmmurgirl profile image

gmmurgirl 5 years ago from Pilipinas Author

Hello CondoLux MB! Thanks for reading this Hub and finding it useful. That's a great additional tip you got there to enable any prospective buyer or renter to get an accurate picture of all the fees. Have a great day!


CondoLux MB profile image

CondoLux MB 5 years ago from Myrtle Beach,SC

Excellent points on this article. In the Myrtle Beach condo market, over the last 10 years, there has been a boom in new construction. Since the economy collapsed though, that construction has come to a halt, leaving the condo owners heading into foreclosure. At any rate, another tip would be to check out the HOA fees as well and see exactly what they include. While most condo rentals (oceanfront at least), are purchased strictly for renting out for additional income, a lot of your points still apply. Good article!

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