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Should you buy a condo?

When looking into condos over single-family homes, you will find many benefits that a traditional house does not offer. This can include access to amenities like pools or a fitness center, along with not having to upkeep your property or the exterior on your own.

However, the process for buying a condo differs from buying a traditional home, which many first-time condo buyers do not know. It is important to understand these differences and the overall process and reality of owning a condo before you decide to make the purchase.

Do you mesh with the community rules?

Money Crashers discusses important questions to ask before buying your first condo. First, you will likely have to deal with community rules. Go over these carefully before putting money down on a unit, because some of the rules may directly conflict with your lifestyle. For example, some condos do not allow for pets, which is a big deal-breaker for many.

What is management like?

Next, understand what your management team looks like. Some of your monthly dues will likely go directly toward the property manager, so you will want to survey current residents for their satisfaction levels with management and/or speak with management directly to get a feeling for how they work and what their personalities are like.

Understanding fees

Speaking of fees, homeowner’s associations will often charge extra monthly fees from community members which they then use toward maintenance and upkeep. Anywhere from 10 to 50 percent of these dues should go toward the Repair Fund depending on how old the complex is.

If these all seem like things you can live with, then a condo might be a good fit for you and you can continue pursuing a unit more seriously.

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