At Brass Financial Group, we believe the best kind of consumer is an informed consumer. If you’re on the market for a new property, you’re likely looking at all types of homes, including single-family homes, townhomes, and condos. Whether you’re buying a new rental, vacation home, or primary residence, each property type comes with unique considerations. Today, Brass Financial Group is reviewing the top three things to know before buying a condo.

You’ll have to pay Association fees.

Part of what makes a condominium community work is everyone coming together to share the costs of communal and exterior spaces by joining the Homeowner’s Association (HOA). Fees paid will cover the maintenance and repair of spaces like hallways, gyms, grounds, and the exterior of the building(s). Though fees vary widely, Investopedia estimates they average between $200-400 per month. It’s important to know them ahead of time and factor them into your potential monthly expenses. Your realtor will be able to provide you with this information.

In addition to scheduled fees, the HOA board may also request an extra assessment from residents for larger repairs like installing a new roof or replacing the heating system.

You’ll need to follow the rules and bylaws.

HOA rules are one of the most important things to know before buying a condo. To ensure a particular quality of life and community look, the HOA creates rules. These rules are often referred to as covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs). CC&Rs will differ from community to community, but the following items are often regulated:

  • House colors
  • Grass height
  • Type of fencing
  • Landscaping style
  • Clothesline usage
  • Window treatments
  • Noise
  • Operating businesses out of the home
  • Pet ownership
  • Leasing options

If there is a CC&R that you wish to be exempt from, you can always request a variance from the board, but there’s no guarantee they will grant one.

You’ll save money on insurance.

Because your HOA will carry a master policy that covers the common areas, your personal insurance will be cheaper than if you were to live in a single-family home. Condo insurance typically costs $200-400 per year, versus $1,288 for homeowner’s insurance for a single-family home. Condo insurance will cover your personal belongings if stolen and any damage to the interior of your condo.

Now that you’ve read the top three things to know before buying a condo, you can feel more confident on your house hunt. If you have any questions or would like to secure financing for your next property purchase, reach out to Brass Financial Group at 609-800-FUND to learn about our loan programs.

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