Checklist for Buying a Condo in Washington D.C.
Living within walking distance of work enhances your quality of life. You walk to your favorite coffee shop in the morning, you walk to dinner and the theater at night. Life is sweet. This is the lifestyle in Washington D.C. and we are working with home buyers to find the best condos. Here are a few of the big things you want to consider if you are shopping for a condo in Washington D.C. or in the near suburbs of Virginia and Maryland.
This is the lifestyle in Washington D.C. and we work with home buyers to help them identify the right neighborhood, building and condo association. Here are a few of the big things you want to consider if you are shopping for a condo in Washington D.C. or in the near suburbs of Virginia and Maryland.
This time of year, the market slows down just a little bit. Just enough so you can take a moment to understand what's important to consider when buying a condominium.
- Buying a condo is much like marrying into a family. Like it or not, you will be making decisions on how to run the building with other condo owners.There is a condo association with a board consisting of other condo owners. These board members make decisions about how to spend the condo association funds. Much like a small business, the board decides how to pay and care for the common living areas when to replace the roof or the elevator. The condo association holds regular meetings and all condo owners follow the rules or bylaws. If this makes you uncomfortable, consider buying a rowhouse or townhouse. You can also search for condo's in smaller buildings and fewer people to deal with.
- What is included in the monthly condo fee? Your monthly mortgage is only part of the story when you buy a condominium. Look for condo fees that include all or most of the utilities. Condo fees in D.C. can range from $250 to over $1,000 a month. Working with your agent and lender, find the monthly range that fits your budget. Remember, condo fees can and will go up. If there is a special assessment, like replacing the roof or washers and dryers in the common laundry area, it's going to cost you money.
- What is the condition of the building and grounds? In Washington DC, some condo buildings are 100 years old. This is not necessarily a bad thing. The question is,
How well maintained is the condo building?
like detached houses, maintenance is the key to quality. As you look at the condo, take a good look at the building. Remember, if you buy a condo in Washington D.C., you have a 3 day review period for the condo documents. This means once you have a ratified contract, the listing agent provides the condo documents for review. Check the budget. Make sure that the condo association is paying bills on time and maintaining the property. How many people are delinquent on their condo fees? Do they have any special assessments? Are there pending lawsuits? Examine the budget and bylaws carefully. You will be living by these rules. Make sure they work for you.
- Is the neighborhood near grocery stores and restaurants? Just because you live in the city doesn't mean you can easily walk to grocery stores, retail stores and restaurants. In N.W. Washington D.C., near the Washington Cathedral, there are condo's and coop's tucked away from the conveniences of city living. Near Rock Creek Park, you'll find condo's closer to the woods than to a store. If this is exactly what you want, then this neighborhood in NW Washington D.C. is for you!
Buying a condo in Washington D.C. is a learning process. We work to educate our Buyers and help them identify the neighborhood, building, and condo that suits their needs. This is fun!
It is a beautiful time of year to be shopping for condo's in Washington D.C.!