The biggest most important detail is, Read the Documents”. The homeowners Documents more than likely can be found on line within the Register of Deeds. There are two parts: The Rules and Regulations and the Covenants and Restrictions. These may sound boring and I must admit when I first started my tenure in Condo Land, I thought they were boring and even more foolishly that they were all same. I learned very quickly to pay attention, to read through every page and to recommend to everyone, buyers and sellers, new and old residents, to get them, read them, and observe the rules.
The principals are similar but that doesn’t mean it is okay to skip them.
Here are a few good examples: Who is responsible for windows should they need replacing? The owner of the unit or the HomeOwnersAssociation. This is a good one to know before you need to know. As a matter of fact they all are. The answer for windows broadly is- most often you are. Most common default of a window is a broken seal. Reading the documents will reveal who or who not is responsible for the windows.
Trucks and RV’s and Boats. Usually there is a special lot for parking boats and Rv’s and vehicles other than cars. And there might also be a restriction on the size of pick up truck can be parked in front of your condo. And dogs and cats. Weight size. Number of pets. And then there’s parking. Usually in a parking lot, spaces are assigned. In a deck or garage they may be deeded with the condominium or they may be leased. Same with storage.
Getting your attention?
Signs. I like this one because for a very long time and sometimes even now signs such as for sale signs are not permitted. There may be further guidelines if they are allowed about size and shape and where they might be posted and at what times.
Then there are blinds or curtains. Most require uniformity in color and style.
The most important and lengthy details address Investors. Before even getting remotely serious about a unit, know the exact number of investors. Many loan programs detail percentages allowed and if those numbers are high, the interest rate may change. Investors mean rentals. Some states are not allowing investors in attached housing and do not allow units to be rented except in dire emergency. Many of the older communities in Charlotte are changing or have changed their by-laws to prohibit investors from ownership