When looking at condos to buy, most people think about getting a place they can live in for the next 5 to 10 years or more. Visiting potential condo communities gives you a feel of what it will be like to live in that area. One way to get a condo that suits your needs and preferences is having a set of questions for your agents and the property managers. These questions can help you get a mental picture of what it’s like living in the condo community. Here are the questions to ask when buying a new condo.
1. What Is the Association Budget?
Most people do not think that this information is important because to them they are just buying a condo. However, buying a condo means that you are buying into the condo community which is run by an association. The projects of this association are funded by the condo community members. Therefore, the association budget should be important to you. Ensure you do not buy a condo run by an association in debt because the community is not paying its dues.
2. What Are the HOA Dues and How Often Are They Changed?
While the HOA dues are usually listed in the condo sale sheet, it is important to ask how often these rates change. Always remember that the dues will never go down and thus large adjustments annually can eventually be a strain for you. In just a few years, you may be paying HOA dues that are too high for you to afford.
3. How Are the HOA Dues Used?
In most condo communities, the HOA dues are used to cover costs associated with the maintenance and repair need of common areas such as pool expenses, cleaning expenses, maintenance needs as well as landscaping and other needs. You need to find out whether the cost also covers some of your utilities such as the water bills, garbage collection, and recycling. This way, you get to know what exactly your association funds are used for and what is expected of you. This is why this is one of the questions to ask when buying a new condo.
4. How Often Are Special Assessments Levied by The Board?
As a member of a condo community, you can expect to receive an assessment occasionally. This is a onetime fee which supplements your association fees. If you live in a well-managed community, assessment levies are rare and are usually levied when there are unexpected expenses that deplete the funds on reserve. These levies should not happen often and ensure you follow up on how the funds are being utilized and how the rates are determined.
5. What Is Covered by Insurance?
A reliable condo community should have an insurance cover for general liability. Carefully go through the policy to ensure you fully understand what is covered under the policy and what is not. You might want to get additional insurance for your personal needs.
6. Why Should I Buy Your Condo?
Ask for reasons to buy the condo in the specific community. This is the best way to learn about what you can expect from the condo association and management team. You also need to find out whether the condo manager is someone you can create a working relationship with.
With a trusted Toronto condo team of experienced realtors, you can be sure to find the best condo for your needs.