Buying a Condo? Be Sure To Read the Condo Documents

Real Estate Broker/Owner with HomeBuyer Brokerage

A 2020 census report in Washington DC shows the population nearly tripled compared to the previous decade!

This exciting news means more people than ever before are buying condominiums in the District. If you're considering buying a condo in DC, make sure you take the time to review the condo documents. 

But first, what is a condominium? 


A condominium or condo is a single privately owned unit within a building or community of units.

Condo owners own what's inside the walls of their condo and share the maintenance of common elements like hallways, foyers and staircases, roofs, and rooftop decks.

Every condo or unit owner will be a member of the condo association. The association will elect a board that will be responsible for maintaining the financial and governing health of the condo association. 


The condo document review period in the District is 3 business days which means once the resale package has been delivered by the seller to the buyer, the next day is day one. Under the DC Condominium Act, every condo owner has certain rights and responsibilities.  


The condo resale package includes a lot of information and reading all of it can feel like a daunting task.

Here are the top 3 items to review in condo documents

1. The financial status of the condo association including the operating budget, reserve funds & any legal actions against the association. You'll want to review any special assessments. This could be a costly project to replace elevators or the roof. A special assessment may raise the monthly condo fee or be an additional monthly cost. And finally,  the condo association should have a master insurance policy for the building. 

2. The bylaws are the rules of the condo association. Be sure to review these carefully since you'll need to abide by these rules. If you don't like the rules, as no pets are allowed, don't buy a condo in the building. 

3. The meeting minutes are taken at monthly condo meetings. This is a window into what's being discussed by the condo members and board. You'll want to review these minutes to better understand any current concerns or issues. 


As exclusive buyer agents with The Buyer Brokerage, we've found big issues with a few condos.

Like the condo board that was being sued by the previous condo board. The lawsuit prevented our buyer's lender from approving the building for a conventional loan.

Or the condo documents for a large condo complex that included a special assessment for tearing down the condo complex, moving residents to a hotel for a few years while rebuilding the condo complex. The completion date for the project was five years out. 

Do your homework when buying a condo in Washington DC


We are here to answer any questions.  



Posted by

Victoria Lynne Henderson

Real estate broker and business owner of HomeBuyer Brokerage serving buyers in Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Victoria was born in Washington D.C. and loves her hometown!

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Comments (1)

Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Platinum - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Great information.  Thanks for sharing and make it a great day!

Nov 14, 2021 06:45 AM