Condos are very often touted as being an affordable alternative to a single-family home. And, for sure, they are certainly that. Condos can reach a height of luxury though that many would not expect. The only thing that designates a condominium as such is that it is a single housing unit within a complex of others. This of course means that certain amenities are shared – but also that they are taken care of. And just as hotels – which are a series of small living units within a larger complex – can range from the most basic to the very heights of luxury, so too can condos range vastly in style, value, and relative grandeur.
City Home Collectiveis a real estate brokerage specializing in luxury homes and condos. Their experts suggest that, because condos can vary so widely along many metrics of quality, it is unfortunately the case that there are plenty of bad condos out there on the market – the types of condos you should avoid. But how do you go about avoiding them? And how can you make sure you can swerve the property before it is too late? Condos can often fall rather short of expected quality standards, and the problems with them are not always immediately obvious.
Common Problems with Condos
There are several things that could theoretically go wrong with a condo. Many of these will revolve around maintenance, specifically maintenance of the areas of the property that should not be your responsibility. The whole point of having a condo is that responsibility for maintaining hallways, gyms, pools, and other amenities is alleviated. But if you are not taking care of these areas, then that responsibility is suddenly in someone else’s hands.It is here where most problems arise.
The Red Flags
It should be noted that all the traditional problems we would expect to find in a house can obviously also apply to condos. With that in mind then, here are the problem indicators – the red flags – which should alert you to a condo not worth purchasing.
It is pretty rare that a condo board will straight up refuse to maintain certain areas within the condo complex (and you should definitely take that as a red flag), but it is far more common to see maintenance continually deferred. Even if they eventually get round to it, purchasing such a condo could see you living with problems for a long time before they get fixed. Ask about repairs, maintenance and how promptly they are carried out.
Lack of Info on Association Fees
It should always be possible to obtain a full accounting of the fees you’ll owe on an annual basis for the upkeep of the condominium. If this information is not immediately forthcoming, the chances are that you’ll be paying over the odds. Avoid if this is the case.
Neighbors Not Paying Homeowner Association Fees
If the neighbors in your prospective condo (whom you should always try to speak to) are not paying HOA fees, then the chances are they are themselves dissatisfied with the condo and are not interested in its proper upkeep. Do not become one of them.