Buying a Condominium and HOAs

condo buyingIf you’ve never before purchased a home, you may be thinking about buying a condo. Condos are great because they allow first time home buyers to enter the housing market with relative ease. However, there are some unique circumstances that come along with buying a condo: normally stringent Homeowners Associations, or HOAs

What is a Condo?

A condo is an individual unit for sale that is part of a larger complex.  When you buy a condo, you have shared ownership in a larger community property.  In simpler terms, a condo is an apartment that you own.

How Do I Buy a Condo?

If you want to buy a condo, you should get pre-qualified with a certified lender that you trust.  This will allow you to see exactly how much of a condo you can afford taking into account your income, credit score, and total savings.  Then, contact a real estate agent who can help you look for a condo.

What are the Pros and Cons of Buying a Condo?

Buying a condo is great because you actually own your living space at typically lower cost than a single family home, and still benefit from the mortgage tax interest deduction. The cons of owning a condo are that you have to pay property taxes, monthly upkeep fees, and abide your condominium’s governing contract before making any changes or alterations.

What Do I Need to Know About HOAs?

When you buy a condo, you’re required to join the Homeowners Association, which is an organization made up of all the homeowners in that particular community. When you are part of an HOA, you will need to pay fees. Homeowners Association fees are monthly dues you need to pay in order to promote the condo’s upkeep. These fees often range anywhere from $200 to $400, depending on your area. HOAs also put certain qualifications and restrictions on your home purchase and tell you specific rules such as if you can have pets or keep a satellite dish.