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Posted by Julie Shanks on 12/22/2019

After you complete a condo inspection, you'll need to make a major decision: Should you move forward with your condo purchase or rescind your offer?

Ultimately, there are several important questions to assess before you finalize your decision on a condo, including:

1. What was discovered during the property inspection?

Study the results of a condo inspection closely. By doing so, you'll be able to learn about a condo's strengths and weaknesses and plan accordingly.

A property inspector will evaluate a condo both inside and out. He or she also will provide honest, unbiased feedback, enabling you to make an informed decision about how to proceed with a condo.

Take into account major and minor condo problems that a property inspector discovers. And if this inspector finds minor flaws associated with a condo, you may want to stay the course and move forward with your initial proposal.

On the other hand, if a property inspector finds significant problems with a condo, i.e. issues that may prove to be costly and time-consuming, you may want to consider rescinding your offer. Or, in this case, you can always ask the condo owner to complete property repairs before you finalize a condo purchase.

2. How much will it cost to perform assorted condo repairs?

The costs associated with condo repairs will vary. However, if you allocate the time and resources to learn about condo problems and the costs associated to fix these issues, you may be able to avoid expensive, time-intensive mistakes.

For example, consider what might happen if a property inspector discovers a defective kitchen light switch in a condo. Although this light switch is a problem, the time and costs needed to repair or replace the faulty light switch likely are minimal. As such, a condo buyer may choose to ignore this problem, or a condo owner may be willing to complete the fix quickly.

Conversely, consider what could happen if a property inspector finds that a condo's furnace is defective. It may cost thousands of dollars to fix or replace a faulty furnace. As a result, a condo buyer may ask the property seller to repair or replace the defective furnace. And if the condo owner fails to do so, a buyer may choose to walk away from the condo purchase altogether.

3. Can I enjoy this condo both now and in the future?

It is essential to consider both the short- and long-term ramifications of a condo purchase. That way, a condo buyer can determine whether a property can serve him or her well for years to come.

A property inspection offers valuable information that a buyer can use to assess the pros and cons of purchasing a condo. Furthermore, a condo buyer who works with an experienced real estate agent can get the support needed to make the best decision possible.

Consider the aforementioned questions as you evaluate your options following a condo inspection, and you should have no trouble deciding whether a particular condo is right for you.




Tags: buyer tips   Buying a home   condo  
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Posted by Julie Shanks on 3/31/2019

Called “common-interest housing” condos, co-ops, flats, townhomes, and apartments have different meanings to different buyers and even have different colloquial meanings than the official real estate industry meanings. Below you'll find a breakdown of the differences between these housing types along with the advantages and disadvantages of each. 

What is “Common Interest Housing”?

Before going too deep, it is essential to understand just what "common-interest housing" actually is. This type of real estate involves a combination of individually owned areas and shared areas in a single property. Shared areas often include pools, parking, and clubhouses, but it can also mean shared landscaping, exteriors, fences and roofs depending on the type of property. A property manager, homeowners association (HOA) or a combination of the two maintains common areas.

Condos and Co-Ops

Condominiums, more commonly called condos, are single home units in a shared property. A homeowner separately owns each unit. The shared property types range from high rise buildings, also called apartments or flats, to conjoined homes townhouse-style. A single family home in a planned community or a mobile home in a community or park can also be condos. Instead of a specific type of home style, "condominium" is a legal term in the United States that refers to the ownership status, so homes of any form, connected or not, can qualify if they are part of a shared property community. 

A co-op, short for cooperative housing development, is another thing entirely. While similarly structured with private and shared areas, co-op owners purchase and own shares in the real estate development instead of their specific portion of the property. All the shareholders have a voice in the real estate corporation, and their investment includes the right to live in a unit. Usually, the monthly expenses of the real estate corporation split between shareholders, so this can be an extra expense you need to plan for. Similarly to condominium, "co-op" is a legal term that refers to the ownership style of the building or neighborhood instead of the building's structure. Depending on your area, you can find co-ops in apartment-style buildings, single family home neighborhoods and townhome style shared wall housing. 

Flats, Townhomes, and Apartments

You’ve noticed the words flat, apartment and townhome in the descriptions of condos and co-ops above. This is because apartments, flats, and townhomes don't have such specific legal meanings. The term "apartment" most often refers to rental units, usually in a single building or set of structures. These are generally not owned, but instead leased or rented from the owner of the entire building or complex. However, since apartments are just a building style with several units that have shared walkways and entryways, apartments can be rentals, condos or co-ops depending on the situation. 

Townhomes refer to a specific building style where the house connects to another house on at least one side. Just like apartments, townhomes could be rentals, co-ops, condos or single-family homes. The true townhome design requires both homes to have separate side-walls even though they touch. However, a lot of condo, co-op and apartment designs look like townhomes without actually meeting the construction requirements. Do this by styling the front or backs of each unit differently, even if constructed as part of a single building. 

Are you thinking of buying a condominium or co-op? Talk to your real estate agent about what's available in your area!




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Posted by Julie Shanks on 10/22/2017

Ready to sell your condo? As a first-time condo seller, it sometimes can be tough to streamline the process of finding interested property buyers and getting the best price for your residence.

Fortunately, we're here to help you simplify the process of selling your condo.

Here are three tips that every first-time condo seller needs to know.

1. Check Out the Prices of Comparable Condos

When you price your condo, it is important to set realistic expectations from the get-go. And if you ask too much for your property, it may linger on the real estate market for an extended period of time.

On the other hand, an informed condo seller will have real estate market data that he or she can use to gain an advantage over the competition.

How does your condo stack up against similar properties? Perform an in-depth assessment of the competition, and you'll be able to price your condo accordingly.

Check out the prices of recently sold and currently available condos. By doing so, you can better understand how to price your condo competitively.

Also, spend some time performing assorted condo interior and exterior repairs before you add your property to the real estate market. This will allow you to boost your condo's appearance both inside and out and make your property an appealing choice to condo buyers.

2. Conduct a Property Appraisal

Hire a property appraiser to inspect your condo. That way, you can receive expert insights into your condo's strengths and weaknesses.

During a condo evaluation, a property appraiser will review all aspects of a property. He or she then will provide you with an in-depth report that you can use to understand potential problem areas with your condo.

A property appraisal is a valuable learning opportunity, and you should try to make the most of it.

Choose a property appraiser with condo experience. This professional will be able to take a close look at your condo and help you prioritize potential repairs.

In addition, review a property appraiser's findings closely. This information will help you determine the best ways to enhance your condo and ensure it can stand out from the competition.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to selling your condo, it is always a good idea to work with a real estate agent.

Hiring a real estate agent with condo experience is a must, particularly for a first-time condo seller. This real estate professional will teach you about the ins and outs of the housing market and help you promote your condo to the right groups of property buyers.

A real estate agent will set up condo showings and open houses and negotiate with condo buyers on your behalf. Plus, he or she will offer honest, unbiased condo selling recommendations to help you get the best price for your property.

Don't leave anything to chance as you get ready to sell your condo. Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can accelerate the process of selling your condo.




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Posted by Julie Shanks on 5/8/2016

When it comes to searching for a home, there are a lot of factors that you have to consider. This is especially the case if you are shopping for condos, as you will be sharing a lot of common space with your neighbors as well. The first thing to look into is the overall interactivity that goes on within the block of condos you are considering to make your home. In most cases, it is always better to find a condo that has an interactive community, because this in turn means that you never have to worry that someone might not be doing their part in keeping the block of properties maintained and in good condition. One thing to be careful of is that some communities do not allow pets, and so if you are looking for a condo for you and your pets, then you need to make sure that the community has no problem with this. In the end, you have to find a condo that is able to be comfortable to live in, and where there is the least amount of stress. While it can be very beneficial to live in a community, it can at times be stressful if you are not one to go by strenuous rules. For some people, the idea of owning a home means that they have the freedom of choice to do what they want in their property. One of the most important things to look into when buying a condo is the condo fees. What are they and what will they be down the road? Are they set condo fees, or could they become too costly to pay down the road? Some condos fees go up to the point that makes the great price you got on the condo not look so great because of what you are paying in taxes and condo fees. One of pluses of a condo is no maintenance and a lot of people really like that especially in your later years when you don’t want to mow the lawn or shovel the sidewalks. A condo is a great option for many buyers and you can generally get into a condo for a fair price.




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