5 Questions to Ask Before You Buy a Condo

If you’re thinking about buying a condo for sale in Lakewood or Long Beach, you have to think about the condo owner’s association you’ll be part of. The association will collect dues from you to take care of routine maintenance, repairs and community amenities – but how will you know if the trade-off is worth it?

You start by asking questions. In fact, here are five questions you should ask before you commit to buying a condo in any complex.

Related: Should you buy a condo in Lakewood or Long Beach?

5 Questions to Ask Before You Buy a Condo

Before you dive in head-first and put an offer in on a condo in Lakewood or Long Beach, you’ll want to work through your REALTOR® to ask these five questions:

  1. What are the association dues?
  2. Can I see the association’s financial statements?
  3. What are the condo association’s rules?
  4. Are there any pending lawsuits?
  5. Who’s the caretaker?

Here’s a closer look at each.

Related: Condo vs. Apartment: The Basics

What are the association dues?

Every condo complex has association dues or fees. Usually, they’re payable monthly – but sometimes you can pay quarterly or even annually. It’s important to find out how much the fee is and what it covers. Typically, the dues cover maintenance and security for everything outside the units, and they can go toward putting in new amenities, too.

Can I see the association’s financial statements?

Most associations are happy to let you see financial statements – and you want to look to make sure that the association’s income surpasses its expenditures. If more money goes out than comes in, you’ll have to think ahead; the condo can do an assessment, which is a periodic, one-time payment that condo owners have to make to cover improvements or repairs. That money is in addition to the dues you’ll already be paying after you move in.

What are the condo association’s rules?

Every condo owner’s association has a set of rules that all the owners must abide by. You need to read every rule, because they can govern everything from the number and types of pets you can own to whether you’re allowed to barbecue, decorate your front door with a holiday wreath and whether you can rent your home out when you’re not in residence.

Are there any pending lawsuits?

Most condo associations don’t have pending lawsuits, but some do – and when a condo association loses a lawsuit, the money they have to spend in legal fees or on a settlement typically comes from insurance. However, a lawsuit can put a huge strain on the cash reserves a condo association keeps, which means there may not be money left over for maintenance or repairs.

Who’s the caretaker?

Most condo associations have a caretaker who handles hiring maintenance pros and other contractors. You’ll want to find out who that person is and if he or she is on-site (but most importantly, local) so if any maintenance issues arise, someone will be there to address them.

Are You Buying or Selling a Home in Lakewood?

If you’re not already living in Lakewood, or if you are but you’re looking for a new home, we’re here to help. Call us right now at 562-882-1581 or start browsing our Lakewood real estate listings to find your dream home today!

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