What You Should Know When Buying A Massachusetts Condo

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group S-96414

What You Should Know When Buying A Massachusetts Condo

You have been hearing it for months now.   It is time to buy.  Time to get off that fence before the market turns around completely. spruce pond village franklin ma

As a buyer, you have probably been looking around on the internet for homes or condos to purchase, and you have probably made up your mind as to what will suit you better.    If a condo or a townhome is your choice, there are a couple of different steps to the process that you will want to consider.  

Selecting the Condo or Townhouse

Look at the entire complex not just the unit you are buying.    How is the landscaping?   How is the parking situation and is it taken care of?   Is their enough visitor parking?    Does the property appear to be well maintained.   Do the unit owners appear to take pride in their units?   Talk to some of the residents.   See if you can get a sense of the heart of the community as well as the actual details.  

Is the Complex FHA approved?  

If you do need FHA financing, this is very important to you and you should know this prior to viewing a unit.   If you do not need to use FHA for your own financing it is still a bonus to own a unit in a FHA approved complex simply because there are many buyers that need this option for financing and it will open up your listing to more potential buyers when/if you go to sell.  

Your Offer to Purchase Should Contain A Few More Contingencies

Of course you will have the normal contingencies such as inspections and possibly financing, but you should also reserve the right to review information relative to the complex.

What Other Contingencies are Important?

It is typical to make an offer on a condo with the contingency that you have the right to review and approve of the condo docs, rules and regulations and financial documents.

Review of Condo Docs

Read these prior to moving forward to purchase and sales.    You want to make sure you can live within the rules and regulations of the community.   You also want to make sure that you are comfortable having neighbors that live within a certain set of guidelines.   Find out what you are responsible for.   Are the windows your responsibility or that of the association?   You get the drift.

Compare at Least a couple of years of financials.   How often do the fees change.    Do the costs look reasonable?    Are there any major expenses that they, or you, foresee and are they budgeted for?   What do their reserves look like?   It is also a good idea to ask for a copy of the minutes of the last meeting.

Other important questions

  • How is the property managed?   Is it by a professional management company or are they self managed?   No right or wrong, but you should be comfortable with the way it is done.
  • Are any special assessments current or pending.  This is important as it can seriously affect your condo fee in the near future.
  • Are their any law suits pending?   Important as it can affect your fees AND your ability to sell.   
  • How many units are owner occupied?   Goes back to the future financing of units.    If you are an investor, you might not care.    
  • Is the Title 5 up to date?   If the complex is not serviced by municipal sewer, see how they handle this.   Normally this is kept continually current.   

There are many benefits to condo living.   It can be the right choice for you.    Believe me when I tell you that there are times, especially after a snowfall or when the grass needs cutting that I want to throw the "for sale" sign out in front of my house and go out and purchase a condo!   

Ask the right questions and you will be very happy with your purchase!




About the author

Carol-Ann Palmieri,  a full time Real Estate professional in Massachusetts for the past 25 years along with Al Mussi have helped hundreds of families find, sell or purchase new places to live.

 A former US Marine, she grew up in Walpole, MA...  is committed to the serving the community through various volunteer opportunities.   She attended MA Bay Community and Suffolk University and is committed to constantly updating her Real Estate education. 

 Licensed in MA and RI...

 Al and Cal's primary areas of service Franklin, Bellingham, Medway, Millis, Medfield, Norfolk, Wrentham, Plainville, Blackstone, Walpole, Milford, Holliston, Hopkinton, Mansfield, and Foxboro, North Attleboro, Norwood, Hopedale, Mendon, Millville but have resourses to help anyone, anywhere....

 Her mission....  To exceed your expectations!

Comments (11)

Kathy Toth
Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams - Ann Arbor, MI
Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team

great points and I love your background photo - water with clear skies ahead.

Dec 13, 2012 08:52 PM
Carol-Ann Palmieri
RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group - Franklin, MA
"Cal" the Real Estate Gal

Hi Kathy.   Thanks for checking it out.   That's the Charles River.    If we hit 58 this week, I might just be able to get out there....brrr.

Dec 13, 2012 09:02 PM
Ginny Gorman
RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate - North Kingstown, RI
Homes for Sale in Southern RI and beyond

Carol Ann you are a go to Massachusetts realtor for all condo buying...great share for condo buyers to heed!

Dec 13, 2012 09:16 PM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Good morning, Carol Ann.... condo living is very popular today.... the key is to find the right agent like Carol Ann Palmieri who knows what to look for and the knows the right questions to ask to protect her buyer client....

Dec 13, 2012 10:43 PM
Chris and Dick Dovorany
Homes for Sale in Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida - Naples, FL
Broker/Associate at Premiere Plus Realty

Carol Ann, all terrific and extremely important questions to ask and get answers for before jumping into a contract.  Buyer beware applies to all of these points and not just inspection issues.

Dec 13, 2012 11:32 PM
Peggy Hughes/pha logistix, inc.
pha logistix inc - San Francisco, CA

Great info for condo buyers, Carol Ann!  With land becoming scarce in many urban areas, condo living is way to go.

Dec 14, 2012 01:11 AM
Robert Bob Gilbert
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties - Katy, TX
Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert

Cal, Excellent premer for buying a Condo. We have so few in katy and I have never had a condo sale as  of yet. I need to scan your article and keep in my memory for the day when i actually have a dela. I will suggest.

Dec 14, 2012 03:25 AM
Anita Clark
Coldwell Banker Access Realty ~ 478.960.8055 - Warner Robins, GA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA

Carol Ann: This is very good information for buyers in MA looking for a condo to call home.  Knowing WHAT to ask will help consumers determine if a condo is the right purchase for their needs.

Dec 14, 2012 07:03 AM
Al Raymondi
Ocean View Realty Group in Ormond By The Sea Florida - Ormond Beach, FL
Ormond By The Sea Florida - Home and Condo Sales

Terrific post Cal, there are many differences between condos and single family homes and you have identified the important things to consider when buying a condo.

Dec 16, 2012 07:55 AM
Robert Bob Gilbert
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties - Katy, TX
Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert

Hi Cal, I just came by to see how you are doing and I hope you and your family will have agood and safe Christmas.

Dec 17, 2012 05:34 AM
Carol-Ann Palmieri
RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group - Franklin, MA
"Cal" the Real Estate Gal

Hi All.  Thank you for taking the time to read this post.  I very much appreciate your comments.  

Dec 17, 2012 07:33 AM

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