What to consider when buying a condo

There are many advantages to living the condo life! However, we always like to make sure our clients understand what to consider when buying a condo, as there are some unique aspects to condo ownership.

1️⃣ Resale Certificate

You’ll be provided with a Resale Certificate, a crucial document. This certificate includes vital information about the condo association, its financial health, any pending lawsuits, and the rules and regulations governing the community. It is VERY important to read this document and understand what it reveals about any possible red flags involving lawsuits or reserve fund issues.

2️⃣ HOA Fees

Condo living often involves monthly Homeowners Association (HOA) fees. These fees cover shared expenses like maintenance, landscaping, security, and amenities. Make sure to understand the exact fees and what they include before making your decision. Fees can range drastically from complex to complex and usually depend on the amount of amenities offered. Typically monthly HOA fees in the greater Seattle area will range $300-2,000. If a community offers extensive amenities such as concierge services, swimming pools, spas, and security then the fees will be on the higher end.

3️⃣ Rules and Regulations

Condo associations have specific rules and regulations that govern how you can use your unit and the common areas. These rules can vary widely, so review them carefully to ensure they align with your lifestyle. This could mean that you can or cannot rent your unit, or that you are limited in the types of renovations you can do. Be sure to review all the rules and regulations.

4️⃣ Special Assessments

Be prepared for the possibility of special assessments. These are one-time fees that can be imposed by the condo association for unexpected expenses like major repairs or upgrades. This could include such things as a roof replacement, exterior repairs, landscaping and grounds improvements, legal expenses or reserve fund shortfalls. Make sure to inquire about any pending or recent assessments. This is also why it is important to read the Resale Certificate as it will reveal to you any recent or future assessments.

5️⃣ Amenities

Condos often come with amenities like pools, fitness centers, and common areas. Consider whether these amenities align with your lifestyle and if they justify the associated fees. Remember, the more amenities means the more you pay in monthly HOA fees.

6️⃣ Resale Value

The resale value of a condo can be influenced by factors like the overall health of the condo association, maintenance of common areas, and market demand for condo living. Research the historical appreciation rates in the area.

7️⃣ Condo Association Management

Get to know the management company or board that oversees the condo association. Their efficiency and responsiveness can greatly affect your experience as a condo owner.

8️⃣ Insurance

While the condo association typically covers the building’s exterior, you’ll need to purchase condo insurance (HO-6 policy) to protect your personal belongings and any interior improvements you make.

9️⃣ Financing

Condo financing can be different from buying a house. Lenders may have specific requirements for condo loans, including assessing the financial stability of the condo association.

It’s important to have this extra knowledge that comes with condo buying. Now that you know what to consider when buying a condo, you can feel confident in your decision-making! If you would like to receive a list of available condos in your desired area and price range, reach out, and we can set you up with condo alert emails.

Easy! We can set you up with home search alerts that are sent straight to your inbox.

Just tell us a little bit about what you're looking for, and we'll do the rest!

Want to see new homes as they come on the market?

looking to buy? maybe later? or, just want to track what's selling in your area?

your email alert is in the works

Fill out the form below to have a market analysis of your home sent straight to your inbox!

Find out your home's value

thank you for contacting us

Your Market Analysis is on its way!

Don't see the city you're looking for?

Get information about the great cities North of downtown Seattle, home values, local resources and some of our favorite activities and restaurants.

Check out our City Guides!

Check out our City Guides for neighborhood information and our area recommendations

Where should you buy a home? 

your connection
to local real estate