7 Questions to Ask a Condo Board Before You Purchase



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7 Questions to Ask a Condo Board Before You Purchase

Questions to ask a condo board

As you look for your new home, condos can be a great option. Not only are they often more affordable than single-family residences, they typically require less maintenance; have a smaller footprint, meaning you have less house to clean; and little to no yard to care for.

But, it’s important to remember condos also come with some additional strings you might or might not have considered. To make sure you buy with your eyes wide-open, contact the condo board with the questions listed below.

These will help you learn how responsive its members are. And, they will give you valuable insight into the property you’re considering.

How many units are owner-occupied?

Typically speaking, the higher the percentage of owner-occupied units, the better your resale value will be in the future.

What are the condo’s covenants, bylaws, and restrictions?

In a lot of ways, bylaws, covenants, and restrictions are a great thing. They set clear expectations for you and your neighbors.

However, if they prohibit a lifestyle you want to lead, this could be a make or break deal. You might find that the condo bylaws prohibit Christmas decorations or that they fine owners for noisy pets such as barking dogs.

What grandfather clauses are in place?

Were you planning to live in your condo for a few years and then rent it? You may discover those who purchase their property after a certain date can’t rent their unit, but buyers who bought before are grandfathered for this right.

How much does the association keep in reserve?

Unexpected expenses happen. A condo association that is not financially prepared to handle these issues is a big red flag.

Are the association assessments increasing annually?

Smart condo boards raise condo assessments a pre-determined percentage each year. Typically, this percentage mirrors the annual inflation rate. This helps to build the condo association’s reserve fund in preparation for future repairs.

What does and doesn’t the assessment cover?

Condo assessments can cover everything from common-area maintenance and recreational facilities to trash collection, snow removal, and community gatherings. Is this how you would like your money spent?

What special assessments have been mandated in the past five years? For how much was each owner responsible?

Some special assessments are to be expected, such as having the parking lot repaved. However, multiple, expensive assessments could be a red flag for the condition of the condo building.


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