Tips For Buying A Condominium

Looking at condominiums for sale may have you feeling excited, especially if you've found a complex that's in a location you love. It's wise, however, to take some time and think about how you'll handle the process.

Hire a Real Estate Agent

It can be tempting to look at a condo as something similar to renting an apartment, but you are going to have a bigger financial stake in it and will likely live there longer. Condominiums are, at least from a money perspective, no different than buying houses, so you should approach the situation with the same attitude and ask for the assistance of a real estate agent. You should also seriously consider hiring an agent who has significant experiencing in dealing with the unique quirks of buying condominiums.

Associations and Fees

Virtually all condominiums are part of some type of homeowners' or condominium residents' association, and that means abiding by a certain set of rules. In some cases, these can impose significant restrictions on what an owner can do, including everything from doing improvements to getting certain types of pets. When checking out specific condominiums for sale that you really like, absolutely make a point of going to at least one association meeting to introduce yourself, get to know the community and find out about its rules. Frankly, don't be afraid to take a couple hours to listen to the public complaints and private gossip about what the association is like, as these people's problems will soon be yours if you decide to buy.

Condominium associations also charge fees to their members, and a portion goes to the upkeep and improvement of community spaces. It's also a good idea to learn when the fees are, such as on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. Think hard about the fee structure, as it's something you'll have to live with for years to come.


The critical question regarding amenities is whether they're going to deliver enough bang for your buck when it comes to the fees you'll pay. If you're a fitness freak, having a pool, tennis court and gym will definitely have a high return on the value you'll put into your condo. On the other, a more leisurely type of resident might prefer a place with a clubhouse. Take a tour before you buy to ensure that everything you'll be using will live up to your standards.