Purchasing condominiums can be different than buying single families. There is more information to evaluate. This blog offers condo buying guidance for Waltham MA first time buyers.
How Condos Differ From Single Family Properties
Condos are buildings with more than one unit sharing land and amenities. The exterior belong to the association and each owner maintains a percentage interest in it. The specific percentage is typically based on the size of individual units and number of units. Condominium owners must maintain the interior of their own unit but share the expense of common items such as common amenities. Because of the shared elements and fees, it is critical for Waltham MA buyers to review certain information ahead of time.
Information You Need to Know
Using Different Loan Programs
Not all financing programs may be used for certain condo complexes. For instance, FHA requires certain owner occupancy rates, minimum reserves, and several other criteria. Condo complexes that are not compliant will be options for fewer buyers on the market. Buyers intending to use FHA should determine whether a complex is approved prior to getting too far invested.
Owner Occupied Units
Every complex will contain a certain number of rental units. High owner occupancy percentages are more likely to comply with financing requirements. Owner occupants also tend to better care for their units.
Reserves and Assessments
Most condominium complexes charge monthly fees. The fees are for common expenses. A percentage is also set aside into a reserve account to prepare for future repairs. It is useful for potential buyers to ask the amount of the condo fee, what is included, past increases, and if it will increase again in the future. Buyers should also question the existing reserve. If a complex maintains insufficient funds to pay for a expensive repair, the expense is divided among the unit owners. This is called an assessment and may be a lot for owners to bear.
Rules and Regulations
The biggest difference between single family and condo homes relates to restrictions. It is necessary to read through the rules and regulations before purchasing and make sure the terms are acceptable. Rules can cover both common spaces and interior spaces.
Condo Buying Guidance For Waltham MA First Time Buyers
There are risks to maintaining any kind of real estate, but condo purchases have a few additional components that buyers should understand. Entirely review all facts and get help from a real estate attorney for help. Also evaluate the future market value of units based on the financial condition of the complex and financing criteria. Ask a real estate professional to furnish historical information on sales in the complex. Details helps buyers make an educated decision about a condo purchase. This article on condo buying guidance for Waltham MA first time buyers was written by Bradford and Darleen Pratt at REMAX on the Charles.