Buyer’s Guide to Condos and HOAs

buyers guide to condos and hoas

Buyer’s Guide to Buying a Condominium or Home in an HOA

 

Buyer’s Responsibilities:

  • Investigate and inspect the property and the Condo/HOA Association
  • Verify verbal statements – Get everything in writing
  • Review both the property and the Association disclosures
  • Hire a Home inspector
  • Hire an Association document inspector  (Condo-Smart.com)

Determine what’s important to you and ask questions:

This may include:

  • schools, daycare, health facilities
  • proximity of registered sex offenders:  www.nsopr.gov
  • Proposed construction or development
  • Views, traffic, airport flight paths
  • Condition of common areas
  • Pet Restrictions
  • Rental Restrictions
  • Parking Rules & availability
  • RV or Boat parking
  • Financial Health of Condo/Homeowners Association.  Any pending special assessments?  planned major repairs?  deferred maintenance?

Notes:

  • Many Condo & Homeowners Associations have completely different rules of what the association is responsible for repairing as well as the individual homeowner’s responsibility
  • Some repair descriptions are ambiguous and confusing
  • The best solution is to read all the documents thoroughly
  • Lenders will often not lend on a financially troubled Association
  • Lenders will also request # owner-occupied units.  % of owners in arrears, insurance info and more

Question Everything

  • Who is responsible for the deck?
  • Who is responsible for the plumbing?
  • Who is responsible for the HVAC?
  • Who is responsible for the front door?  Chimney? Window Frames?
  • How often are the condos/townhomes painted?  When were they painted last?
  • Does the Association have enough money in Reserves (Savings) for expected major repairs?

Get all your answers in writing, if they aren’t already included in the governing documents.

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