10 Questions to Ask When Buying Your New Condo (Part 1)
Think buying a condo is easy? Think again. When you’re buying a condo, there might actually be more to consider than when you’re buying a home. Just knowing what to look for (and ask) can be a challenge. Hiring a good Las Vegas real estate agent and asking the right questions is a start, so here’s a list of 10 questions to ask before you make on offer on your Las Vegas condo.
Question #1: What about the HOA? Most Las Vegas homes, whether they’re single-family or condos, have homeowners associations (HOAs). Before you buy, you want to check up on that organization whose umbrella you’ll be living under. Check out:
- Covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs)
- By-laws and rules
- Financial reports
- Minutes from most recent meetings
You’ll also want to ask: How and when might my association fees increase? Is the HOA involved in any lawsuits? Are there any plans for major repairs (new roof or new pool) in the near future?
Question #2: What is the percentage of renters in the complex? Mortgage lenders tend to see condo buildings with more than 20 percent renters as a lending risk. That means they’ll charge higher interest rates or won’t lend at all. Plus, a higher proportion of renters to owners can impact how easy (or difficult) it is to sell your Las Vegas condo down the road. It also often lowers market values (renters usually don’t treat the condo as well as owners). As a safe rule, look for condo buildings that have less than 10 percent renters.
Question #3: Is the complex professionally managed? All condos need regular maintenance and repairs and using a professional management company usually pays for itself.
Question #4: Are the complex fees similar to other comps? For that regular maintenance and repairs, plus management of facilities like a pool, you’ll pay a monthly fee in addition to your mortgage payment. Compare maintenance fees at the different Las Vegas condos you’re considering. Given factors like the size and age of the condo complex and level of amenities offered, fees should be comparable.
Question #5: Has your condo seller prepared a defect disclosure report? Most states require a defect disclosure report (Nevada is one of those states). If the seller discloses that something is wrong with the condo, get a professional contractor to estimate repair costs, then factor those costs in to your offer.
Buying a Las Vegas condo can be more complicated than buying a single-family home in large part because so much of your condo ownership experience will depend on those neighbors with whom you share walls. From dealing with common area maintenance needs to reselling your condo, you’re kind of all in it together.
So stay tuned here tomorrow for the next 5 questions to ask when buying a Las Vegas condo, or go ahead and give the Las Vegas condo experts a call at (702) 376-7379 or view our lists of condos at www.shelterrealty.com.