Cincinnati Real Estate

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Kathy S. Koops GRI

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3 Things to Consider When Buying a Condo?

filed under: For Buyers posted on June 12th, 2012

The current real estate market in greater Cincinnati has plenty to offer buyers and many first time home buyers are attracted to the easy lifestyle condo living offers.

Condo buying has its own set of do’s and don’ts – here’s a few things to remember:

  1. Not all condominiums are the same.  Condominium is a “legal description” of ownership and not a description of  type of  unit or townhome.  You need to understand exactly what you’re buying.  Many “condo owners” own the physical structure- but no the land underneath the building.  Other owners may own the structure and the land.  As a buyer you need to determine exactly what you’re buying when you make an offer.
  2. Even though owners pay monthly Home Owners Association fees (HOA) which usually (but not always) cover landscaping, roofing, exterior maintenance, trash removal and maybe,  swimming pool/clubhouse- the fee does not cover property taxes, home owners insurance and interior maintenance costs.
  3. Low monthly home owners association fees (HOA) doesn’t always equate to a good deal.  As part of the purchase contract you will have time to review the covenants, rules and financial statements of the association.  Most associations (but not all) have reserve funds to cover major repairs like roof replacements, cracked swimming pools or repaving roads.  If a big expense must be paid and the association cannot afford the cost-owners may be “assessed” fees to cover the costs.

Finally don’t forget to get a whole house inspection performed.  The report may provide insights into items (both interior and exterior) that need repair.  The exterior repairs usually require the HOA’s agreement to handle the item(s)- and it’s important to make sure the repairs are completed prior to closing.

“Condo” living offers lots of perks to today’s busy home owners and with communities and complexes tucked into virtually every community in and around Cincinnati -you can easily find the right one to meet your lifestyle needs.

Any questions- give me a call.

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