Buying a condo is a little different than purchasing a single-family residence on a plot of land. If you are interested in purchasing a condo, you need to know what the buying process is going to look like.
1. Get Financing
First, you need to look around for the right financing opportunity. Not all lenders are willing to offer you a mortgage if you are purchasing a condo. Many people purchase condos with cash because financing is not as readily available for condos. One type of loan you may be able to qualify for is a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan if the condo you are interested in meets specific criteria. Be prepared to have to put down the full traditional amount of a 20% down payment if you can get financing for your condo.
2. Find a Condo Real Estate Agent
Second, you should find a real estate agent who has experience selling condos. As selling condos is different than selling single-family homes, you want to work with a real estate agent who understands all the different contingencies that come into play when you are purchasing a condo.
You will need to sign condo association contracts in addition to the typical purchasing contracts for the property. You want to work with a real estate agent who understands all the paperwork involved in the condo-buying process and can walk you through it.
3. Learn About Association Fees
When you purchase a condo, you own the space that you live in, but you are also buying into a collective ownership of the building your condo is located in as well as the shared outside space. When you purchase a condo, you will become a part of the condo association, generally as a term for purchasing the property.
With a condo association, you have to do more than sign some paperwork. You also have to agree to pay the condo fee, which can generally be paid on a yearly or monthly basis. You are obligated to pay the condo fee just like you are obligated to pay your taxes.
If you are interested in purchasing a condo, look into what financing options are available to you. Find a real estate agent who can help you find a few interesting condos. Make sure you understand how condo associations work and the fees associated with them, as this is a part of condo ownership you can't avoid. Once you do all that, you just need to find the right condo to purchase!