10 Things You Need to Know About Buying a Condo in Florida

10 Things You Need to Know About Buying a Condo in Florida

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Are you thinking about buying a condo in Florida? Use our handy checklist to make sure you have all the right info before purchasing your dream condo.

Are you interested in buying a condo in Orlando, Florida? Before you start shopping or sign the dotted line, make sure you do your research. There are multiple benefits to becoming a condo owner if it suits your lifestyle.

10 Things You Need to Know About Buying a Condo

It's the perfect compromise between renting and owning. HOA's cover many of the everyday maintenance tasks, such as landscaping services and building maintenance. You also get access to certain amenities, such as clubhouses, pools, private gym equipment, and more.

However, just like every city has its own personality, so do communities. In order to help you find the perfect fit, we've put together a special guide. These 10 tips will help you analyze your choices and feel confident in your purchase.

10 Things to Consider Before Buying a Condo

Whether you have a stack of listings to weed through or you're just now considering buying a condo, make sure you consider all 10 points when analyzing a potential investment.

1. Every HOA Comes with a Recurring Fee

Not every homeowner or renter is familiar with Homeowners Associations (HOA's). These organizations exist to help manage a community and its rules, as well as manage all shared amenities and upkeep.

However, these services aren't free. Funding for them comes from HOA fees every owner in the community has to pay. These fees create the spending budget for an HOA's duties.

You cannot opt out of an HOA or what they offer. When you buy a condo, you are required to pay these fees and abide by the condo's rules and regulations for the full duration of your ownership.

2. Not All HOA's are Run the Same

Every HOA is different. From its rules to its budget and the amenities the community offers, you may find each listing different. If you discover a condo that you are interested in purchasing, make it a point to review the HOA first.

A property may look perfect for you, but the rules place restrictions you can't live by. You never want to find this out after your purchase, so do your due diligence prior to making an offer.

3. An HOA's Budget and Reserve Can Tell You a Lot

Speaking of research, you'll want to look at more than just the HOA's rules and regulations. The health of a community can be assessed by looking at the HOA's budget, reserve fund, and how many residents are delinquent on their dues.

If you notice warning signs such as a high delinquency rate, outstanding debts, or a low fund, be wary. These are often indicators of poor HOA management.

4. Condos Make Affordable Alternatives to Single-Family Homes

The good thing about condos is even with their HOA, many are more affordable than single-family homes. This is especially true in densely populated areas where land is an expensive commodity.

Many condo buyers like that they can get more space for their buck. A mortgage on a three-bedroom condo is likely to be significantly less than a three-bedroom home.

5. It's Often Cheaper to Insure a Condo Than a Home

On top of your mortgage savings, you can also expect cheaper insurance rates. Because HOA's cover the exterior maintenance of homes within their community, condo owners only have to cover the interior of their home.

Land, the building's exterior, and all shared amenities are included in your HOA fee. Thus you'll simply need a bit of dwelling coverage, liability coverage, and coverage for personal property damage.

6. Residents Have to Play By the Rules

HOA's are at liberty to change and create new rules as they see fit. If you buy a condo, but a new rule arises that you don't agree with, you still have to abide by it.

This is one of the more sobering realities of condo life. However, keep in mind they aren't an all-powerful entity. Your community has a voice.

If for some reason an unreasonable rule is brought to your community's attention, you can address it as a unified group. It's part of the checks and balances of these organizations.

After all, you are the source of its budget.

7. Condos Come with Multiple Conveniences

One of the most popular aspects of condo living is the additional facilities and offerings provided through the HOA. Buyers love having access to shared amenities, such as:

  • Pools
  • Clubhouses
  • Playgrounds
  • Gyms
  • Tennis Courts
  • Trash Pickup
  • Landscaping
  • Cable
  • Pet friendly play areas
  • And More

As you're looking at different condos, ask what amenities come with the community. There is no requirement and the features can vary from one location to the next.

8. You Can Be a Part of the Association

The great aspect of HOA's is its community involvement. As a condo owner, you can participate in HOA meetings. These meetings cover decisions made within the collective community.

In fact, members of the HOA are residents of your community. This means they're more likely to be invested in making it a good place to live.

If you buy a condo, consider being a part of the association that runs it. It's a great way to meet other members of the community while feeling a sense of involvement in how your community is run.

9. Condos Often Form Strong Communities

There is something more intimate about condo living than single-family home life. By design, builders place units side-by-side. Your amenities are shared, drawing residents to communal areas such as pools and playgrounds.

Many HOA's put on community events that bring residents together. It's an easy way to get to know your neighbors and build lasting relationships.

10. Look Beyond the Mortgage to See What You Can Afford

There are several fees to consider when buying a condo. Beyond your monthly mortgage rate, you also have to keep in mind HOA fees, insurance (often much less than a house), property taxes (also much less than a house) and the estimated cost for your water and utilities.

Before you make an offer, crunch all the numbers. This will help ensure that your investment fits your budget without eating into the lifestyle you enjoy.

Explore Condo Options in Downtown Orlando

Does condo life sound perfect for you? If so, consider buying a condo in downtown Orlando. With tons of options on the market today, you can find "home sweet home" close to many of Orlando's most attractive hangouts.

Start browsing condo listings today. But don't delay. If you find something that catches your eye, make sure you schedule a showing!

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