It’s time. Whether you’re entering retirement, need a great family vacation spot or want to make some cash from rental income, you’re ready to buy a beach condo. While there can be some similarities with buying a home, purchasing a condo certainly requires a few questions you may not come across in home buying. Here are seven basic questions to ask to ensure you don’t end up with a money-pit.
- What’s all the fuss about?
Request the minutes of the condo association’s board meetings to see what owners have been complaining about. This may help you get a better idea of owners’ satisfaction rate with the management. If there are no complaints, all the better and you can get an idea of ongoing projects within the building that the seller may not have mentioned.
- What are the condo association rules?
Unlike a home, with a condo you own from the walls in. The outside of a condominium is owned by a democracy where you must abide by the rules. Maybe you want to know the building’s pet policy, if short and / or long-term rentals are permitted, or if the unit you wish to purchase must be a part of the building’s rental program for a certain amount of time.
- What are the condo fees and what do they cover?
Make sure you not only know what the monthly or yearly fees will be, but also what’s included for those fees. Condo HOA fees often cover expenses such as exterior maintenance of the building, grounds maintenance, insurance, water and sewer services and trash pick-up, but you’ll want to ask so you don’t have any unexpected monthly expenses before you decide to purchase.
- What is the condo rental policy?
Knowing the rental policy is important whether you plan to occupy the condo full time or will use it as a second home with a rental income option. Some condos allow for short and long term renters while others may regulate against one or the other. Also, be sure to ask if the unit you plan to purchase is currently on the rental program and if there are regulations on how long the unit must stay on the program.
- Who makes the repairs?
You are going to want to know exactly what you are responsible for when it comes to repairs. For example, who is responsible for replacing windows or repairs needed to a balcony or porch? Ask these questions before you sign, not after you’ve purchased and the repairs are needed.
- What can I expect to pay in property tax?
While property taxes in Myrtle Beach are relatively low, you may fall into a different program if you rent the unit as opposed to occupying the condo. Be sure to ask your realtor about the estimated difference in costs.
- Will I be able to obtain financing to purchase a condominium?
If you are looking to obtain financing to purchase a condo then this should be one of the first questions you ask your realtor. It can be difficult to get financed for a beach front condo depending on certain guidelines the development must meet to be considered eligible for conventional financing.