Condo Purchasing Guidance For Fairfax County Home Buyers

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Purchasing condominiums can be different from buying single families. There are more things to review. This article provides condo purchasing guidance for Fairfax County home buyers.

How Condos Differ From Single Family Real Estate

Condominiums are complexes with more than one unit with shared common areas such as land and hallways. Shared components belong to the association and every unit maintains a percentage interest in it. The exact percentage is typically based on the unit size and the total units in a complex. Individual owners are financiallyresponsible for maintenance of the interior of their own unit but share the cost of common areas such as common amenities. Because of the common elements and expenses, it is very important for Fairfax County buyers to obtain certain information ahead of time.

Things to Ask About

Mortgage Restrictions

MORTGAGE COMPANIES will only provide loans on units in qualified complexes or based on certain criteria. For instance, FHA requires minimum owner occupancy rates, sufficient reserves, and several other items. Condo complexes that are not compliant will be more difficult to sell. Buyers using FHA should determine whether a complex is approved before getting too far invested.

Owner Occupancy Percentages

Most complexes have some rental units. Higher owner occupancy percentages are more likely to comply with loan requirements. High rental rates also tend to be less desirable.

Condo Fees and Assessments

Most condominium complexes implement monthly fees. The fees are for common expenses. A certain amount is also placed into a reserve for significant expenses. It is critical for potential buyers to ask the amount of the condo fee, what is covered, how much it has increased in the past, and whether it is expected to change. Buyers should also look into the amount of funds already in reserve. If a association does not have enough to pay for a extensive repair, the cost is divided among the unit owners. This is called an assessment and can be a significant cost even if divided among all the owners.

Rules and Restrictions

The biggest difference between single family and condo living has to do with rules. It is necessary to know the rules and regulations in advance and determine whether they are acceptable. Rules may apply to both common areas and interior spaces.

Condo Purchasing Guidance For Fairfax County Home Buyers

There are risks to maintaining any kind of home, but condo ownership has a few added considerations that buyers must understand. Entirely review all information and get help from a real estate attorney for help. Also consider the resale value of units based on the finances of the complex and mortgage programs available to buyers. Contact a real estate expert to provide historical information on sales in the complex. Details helps buyers make an educated decision about a condo purchase. This article on condo purchasing guidance for Fairfax County home buyers was written by Amir Sadeghi at Keller Williams Realty. Contact Amir at 571-331-3070 or for information on particular complexes in Fairfax County or for help with other real estate topics.

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