The experience of buying a condo for the first time is almost the same as buying your first home. The process is the same, and so is the excitement. If this is your very first home and maybe you cannot raise enough money for a detached house, start with a condo. The experience is less hassle, and you can even qualify for financing faster.
Here are 9 tips to help you buy your first condo:
1. Find Out About Financing And Get A Pre-approval
Getting a preapproval is the first step. You should speak to lenders even before you start looking for a condo. That way, you will know what kind of loan you qualify for and how much so that you can start looking for a condo within that price. Sometimes, depending on a few things, you may even find that you do not qualify for a loan. Compare rates and payment conditions from different housing loan providers.
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2. Have A Budget That You Will Stick By
Every home, even a condo comes with maintenance requirements and besides, you may want to change the interior paint when you get the condo. Every month, there will be HOA fees to pay. You should factor them in the calculations. Other things like paying your insurance premiums, car financing and utility bills still have to be taken care of. This is why you should come up with a budget and be determined to stick by it. After you find a condo that you genuinely love, you might be tempted to make a big offer so that you get it, but emotions should never drive a condo buying process. Numbers should drive it.
3. Take The Help Of A Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent will cost you money, but you will consider that as money well spent. After all, they will get you the property that you need much faster. They will also be able to advise you accordingly on whether to take a certain property or not. For example, when there are newer condominiums in the neighborhood, the older ones might lack many customers so they would sell at a considerably lower price. Follow the advice of your real estate agent but listen to your heart too.
4. Try And Buy A Condo When The Trend is a “Buyer’s Market”
Market trends change from seller’s market to buyer’s market. In the buyer’s market, it means the supply of condos is higher than the demand. Therefore, you have a bargaining advantage. However, consider the fact that sometime in future, you may have to resell the condo, and you would still love to fetch a reasonable price.
5. Look For A Condo In The Best Areas
The main reason why you want to look over the best areas is that you could want to sell the condo in future and move. If that will be the case, you will want the condo to fetch you the best price possible. However, resale value is not the only consideration. There are other things to look out for such as proximity to the road, grocery store, hospital, and other amenities. If you are looking to buy a condo in Los Angeles, LA condos for sale is a great place to start your search. Santa Monica is one of the most coveted areas to live in Los Angeles. Check out condo sales Santa Monica if you want to buy a condo in Santa Monica.
6. Make Sure You Go For Open House Viewing
After your real estate agent has helped you narrow down your choices, it is time to go and view the houses. You need to know when the open day for each property has been arranged. When you go there, look around keenly, see every room in the home and take notes of the main strengths and weaknesses of the condo. After you have viewed all the condos you were interested in, you can sit down and compare notes.
7. Find Out About The Hoa Fees
One of the reasons many people fear buying condos is the HOA fees. The Homeowners Association fees vary from one condo neighborhood to another. If the grass is cut for you, exterior repaired for you, you enjoy the recreation facilities such as swimming pool… it is only fair that you pay. The payment for these facilities is in the form of HOA fees. Be keen because some of the condo neighborhoods can have high fees.
8. Know How To Make An Offer
After you are convinced that you have found an excellent condo, make an offer. Of course, your offer will be guided by the listed sale price. It should be a lower offer of course, but it should also be a reasonable offer. Do not make your offer too low or the seller will think you are not a serious buyer. At the same time, you do not want to buy the condo at too high a price. You must find a balance. At this juncture, you can bring up any cons that you noted about the condo. For example, if you noticed a need for repairs, you can use that to bargain to your advantage.
9. Consider The Counter Offer Carefully
Once you have made an offer, the seller will make you a counteroffer. Consider it keenly to see whether the seller is budging. If the counteroffer is close to the offer that you had made, the seller is willing to concede some ground. Even if the counteroffer shows that the seller is not willing to concede ground, you can go ahead and ask them whether they will give way in the processing and closing fees. If they are willing, you can go ahead and close the sale.
It is always a good idea to know the ins and outs of anything when you want to spend a substantial amount of money on something. Buying a condo in a city center can cost you a significant amount, and you should be extra careful and well-prepared if it is the first time you are buying a condo. I hope the tips mentioned above will make your first condo buying process easier. If not, you can look into renting or becoming a property guardian to save money on your living expenses.