Wanda J. Hall's Blog
5 Sunflower Court, Ayer, MA 01432
After you complete a condo inspection, you'll need to make a major decision: Should you move forward with your condo purchase or rescind your offer?
Ultimately, there are several important questions to assess before you finalize your decision on a condo, including:
1. What was discovered during the property inspection?
Study the results of a condo inspection closely. By doing so, you'll be able to learn about a condo's strengths and weaknesses and plan accordingly.
A property inspector will evaluate a condo both inside and out. He or she also will provide honest, unbiased feedback, enabling you to make an informed decision about how to proceed with a condo.
Take into account major and minor condo problems that a property inspector discovers. And if this inspector finds minor flaws associated with a condo, you may want to stay the course and move forward with your initial proposal.
On the other hand, if a property inspector finds significant problems with a condo, i.e. issues that may prove to be costly and time-consuming, you may want to consider rescinding your offer. Or, in this case, you can always ask the condo owner to complete property repairs before you finalize a condo purchase.
2. How much will it cost to perform assorted condo repairs?
The costs associated with condo repairs will vary. However, if you allocate the time and resources to learn about condo problems and the costs associated to fix these issues, you may be able to avoid expensive, time-intensive mistakes.
For example, consider what might happen if a property inspector discovers a defective kitchen light switch in a condo. Although this light switch is a problem, the time and costs needed to repair or replace the faulty light switch likely are minimal. As such, a condo buyer may choose to ignore this problem, or a condo owner may be willing to complete the fix quickly.
Conversely, consider what could happen if a property inspector finds that a condo's furnace is defective. It may cost thousands of dollars to fix or replace a faulty furnace. As a result, a condo buyer may ask the property seller to repair or replace the defective furnace. And if the condo owner fails to do so, a buyer may choose to walk away from the condo purchase altogether.
3. Can I enjoy this condo both now and in the future?
It is essential to consider both the short- and long-term ramifications of a condo purchase. That way, a condo buyer can determine whether a property can serve him or her well for years to come.
A property inspection offers valuable information that a buyer can use to assess the pros and cons of purchasing a condo. Furthermore, a condo buyer who works with an experienced real estate agent can get the support needed to make the best decision possible.
Consider the aforementioned questions as you evaluate your options following a condo inspection, and you should have no trouble deciding whether a particular condo is right for you.
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Called “common-interest housing” condos, co-ops, flats, townhomes, and apartments have different meanings to different buyers and even have different colloquial meanings than the official real estate industry meanings. Below you'll find a breakdown of the differences between these housing types along with the advantages and disadvantages of each.
What is “Common Interest Housing”?
Before going too deep, it is essential to understand just what "common-interest housing" actually is. This type of real estate involves a combination of individually owned areas and shared areas in a single property. Shared areas often include pools, parking, and clubhouses, but it can also mean shared landscaping, exteriors, fences and roofs depending on the type of property. A property manager, homeowners association (HOA) or a combination of the two maintains common areas.
Condos and Co-Ops
Condominiums, more commonly called condos, are single home units in a shared property. A homeowner separately owns each unit. The shared property types range from high rise buildings, also called apartments or flats, to conjoined homes townhouse-style. A single family home in a planned community or a mobile home in a community or park can also be condos. Instead of a specific type of home style, "condominium" is a legal term in the United States that refers to the ownership status, so homes of any form, connected or not, can qualify if they are part of a shared property community.
A co-op, short for cooperative housing development, is another thing entirely. While similarly structured with private and shared areas, co-op owners purchase and own shares in the real estate development instead of their specific portion of the property. All the shareholders have a voice in the real estate corporation, and their investment includes the right to live in a unit. Usually, the monthly expenses of the real estate corporation split between shareholders, so this can be an extra expense you need to plan for. Similarly to condominium, "co-op" is a legal term that refers to the ownership style of the building or neighborhood instead of the building's structure. Depending on your area, you can find co-ops in apartment-style buildings, single family home neighborhoods and townhome style shared wall housing.
Flats, Townhomes, and Apartments
You’ve noticed the words flat, apartment and townhome in the descriptions of condos and co-ops above. This is because apartments, flats, and townhomes don't have such specific legal meanings. The term "apartment" most often refers to rental units, usually in a single building or set of structures. These are generally not owned, but instead leased or rented from the owner of the entire building or complex. However, since apartments are just a building style with several units that have shared walkways and entryways, apartments can be rentals, condos or co-ops depending on the situation.
Townhomes refer to a specific building style where the house connects to another house on at least one side. Just like apartments, townhomes could be rentals, co-ops, condos or single-family homes. The true townhome design requires both homes to have separate side-walls even though they touch. However, a lot of condo, co-op and apartment designs look like townhomes without actually meeting the construction requirements. Do this by styling the front or backs of each unit differently, even if constructed as part of a single building.
Are you thinking of buying a condominium or co-op? Talk to your real estate agent about what's available in your area!
A condo can be a great resource in expanding your property search for a home. Condos allow the same benefits of traditional single family home ownership with slightly less hassle. If you have been juggling the idea of buying a condo versus a traditional home, you may be in luck. The first thing you should worry about is whether or not your needs will actually be met by condo living. Do you want a big yard? Are you comfortable having neighbors super close by? Most importantly, you need to make an informed decision that will help you to find the kind of property that’s right for you.
If you want a secure space and living that provides you with easy upkeep, a condo is really a great option. Condos provide many advantages that people may have not even thought of until now.
Condo living has different perks than that of traditional homes. Your condominium complex can include things like a swimming pool, a clubhouse, community events, tennis courts, fitness centers, and more. You won’t get all of these little extras living in a single family home. It can be a great environment for both single people and families alike.
Condos often offer either a gated community or security staff on the premises. These features allow you to feel a lot more secure in your home environment. Security will keep rowdy kids from roaming the property and only allow owners and their visitors. This feature alone may be worth it for many home buyers when shopping for a place to live.
If you’re the type of person who doesn’t enjoy yard work and is not a DIYer, condo living could be for you. Included with your condo fees is the ability to have different things in and around your home taken care of. Although the fees include different extras from place to place, Living in a condo is definitely less work as far as home care goes than a traditional house.
Although condos do include additional fees, the price point of most condos is much lower than that of a traditional home. If you are just starting out, a condo is a great way to ease into homeownership without needing to save up an exorbitant amount of money for a downpayment.
While condo living has many different advantages, they do carry some disadvantages for people. These include:
- HOA Fees
- Lack of privacy
- A difficult sell if you want to move
- You live under management rules
These points can be deal breakers for some buyers. While many relish their freedom from maintenance responsibility, others just want to do as they please with their yard without needing approval. A condo could be a great choice for you in your own situation, you just need to step back and look at the pros and cons.