Common Questions When Buying a Condo

Reblogger Will Nesbitt
Real Estate Agent with Nesbitt Realty at Condo Alexandria 0225-089134

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Original content by Susan Thompson-Solomons

Common Questions When Buying a Condo

For those buyers who are considering a condominium purchase, there are some common questions I get from buyers. Condominium buyers many times are buying their first condo and transitioning from a single family detached home. There's a process for condo buyers in many instances because there are nuances to condos which can mean some major lifestyle changes. Buyers want to be comfortable that there are ways that their personal lifestyle concerns can be accomodated in a condominium.

In Maryland, as well as other states, there are requirements that condominium sellers provide a resale package that includes the condominium community's financials, the bylaws, and the condomium declaration. Buyers have a 7 day contingency period(in Maryland) to review the package. There are some questions in the resale  certificate that are time sensitive, which means it has to be ordered after the buyer is  under contract, the contingency period hinging on the receipt of the package.

Questions I often get prior to contract as buyers are familiarizing themselves with a condominium community:

The first thing buyers want to know is what is covered in the condo fee and when those fees are payable. Buyers should be able to obtain a list of the condominium’s amenities from the listing agent. Buyers will want to know that there are sufficient reserves and if there are any additional assessments or how the community determines any long range projects that may be needed, such as whether reserve studies have been done.

Buyers will also want to know if financing is available, as there are specific lending requirements for condominiums.

Pets are one of the biggest concerns for buyers, as pets are considered to be “one of the family” by many. Buyers will want to ask if pets are allowed, size, number, and type restrictions.

Where to park, how many parking spaces are provided/assigned is another common concern of condo buyers. Some communities have assigned parking close to the unit with additional overflow parking areas. Buyers will want to explore how parking is addressed in the community. Also, some communities have restrictions on commercial vehicles being parked and requirements that vehicles have active registrations. Many communities have restrictions on working on vehicles in the parking lot.

Grilling is another common question. Buyers coming from single family detached homes have not typically had any restriction on grilling, and for many it’s important. However, in a condominium situation, units are in close proximity and many times grilling is not permitted at the unit, but there may be other designated areas in the community.

Condominium communities typically have architectural restrictions to maintain consistency in the community. Most communities will allow certain types of changes with permission from the condo association, but buyers must realize that there will be certain limitations.

Another common question asked by buyers is whether wood floors are allowed in a condominium building where units are stacked (as opposed to townhouse type condos). There can be restrictions in some condominiums on wood floors, but the one thing that is almost always required is to have wood floors installed (2nd floor and above) with some sound proofing materials or to have them covered by a large percentage with area rugs. Noise in general is a common question in an attached home situation.

Buyers also ask about restrictions on renting and the number of rentals. This also is a question lenders ask. High numbers of rentals are a buyer concern and lender concern. Buyers will want to know the rules on this should they want to rent their property at some point, as tenants need to comply with the community’s rules.

These are the common questions I receive from buyers when considering a condominium purchase. Condominiums are one of my specialties. Please contact me if a condo purchase or sale is something you are considering as I am very knowledgeable about condominiums and can provide strong representation to you.





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