Condominiums Questions/Answers for BuyersSellers can benefit from FHA queries as well.
1. Read Governing documents: Regulations, By-Laws, Covenants and Restrictions Are rentals allowed? Is there a limit to number and size of vehicles? Number and size of pets? Smoking?
2. Ask about Financial Status: Amount set aside for reserves, pending assessments, law suits pending or in progress. How do dues compare to like projects in the area...and what do they include. More and more town home ( these are bonafide townhouses, not condos) communities are including homeowners insurance because of better rates.
3. Investor ratios and owner occupied units. This can affect financing and perhaps your decision to buy in a heavily investor-owned property or even if you could if you wanted.
4. Ask about increases in dues in the preceding 5-6 years and what is the history of assessments and what were they for? Ask for the last three months of the Boards of Directors Meeting minutes.5. Check the actives and the solds and the dates of each for the last year or so to get a snapshot of activity...too much, prices up or down?
6. New construction requires asking questions about the builder and the developer. Most handle management until a certain percentage of the units are sold.The big question and area of concern is almost always, the reserves. Ask for and go over financial reports line by line.
7. Watch promotions for the complex if it is a new one...there are usually some incentives...some you have to ask for, some not...check to see how many are still on the market and over what time period.
8. Check in at NC Real Estate Commission for a free brochure: Questions and Answers on Condos. 9. Know about a good resource: Community Associations Institute in Alexandria, VA. They address many issues and answers for attached housing.http://www.caionline.org/
10. And remember Condo CanDo® is always near! Either in Blog and Podcast (both have searchable feature), twitter and web.