Main Content

Home / Mistakes to avoid when buying a condo

Mistakes to avoid when buying a condo


If you’re ready to embark on a journey toward homeownership or if you’re searching for a great second home, consider a condo as the perfect choice. A condo gives you all the benefits of owning property with the least responsibility.

To get the most out of your condo investment, make sure you avoid these costly mistakes:

Getting ahead of yourself

You might be itching to buy as soon as possible because everyone else is. Or maybe you’re getting too excited with the current market trends. If you’re too much in a rush, don’t be. Buying without proper preparation could spell disaster for your finances.

No matter how great you think the market looks, you should always make sure your finances are in check. Go to a professional and discuss your income, debt, and potential expenses to set up your budget.

Not checking out the Homeowners’ Association (HOA)

An HOA is an essential part of any condo community. It’s there to maintain the building and common amenities like pools and gyms. The HOA requires residents to pay association dues for management of maintenance and building issues.

Make sure the HOA in your potential condo building is transparent with its finances. A badly organized HOA can significantly increase its monthly dues with no warning. It can also cause amenities to be reduced or shut down. Even worse, your property can decrease in value the moment other residents move out or go into foreclosure.

Neglecting to learn about the terms and conditions

Every HOA has its own set of rules and regulations called the Conditions, Covenants, and Restrictions or CRRs. These rules cover everything from conduct in common areas like recreation centers, gyms, and pools to restrictions on changes in the exterior of the unit like patio gardens. If you want less restrictions to your freedom and creativity, then it is important to find a condo complex with more flexible and lenient rules. Reading the CCRs beforehand gives you a better idea on what type of community you’re getting into.

Not being thorough when inspecting the building

Go through every aspect of the building so you don’t miss important warning signs like pests, leakages, mold, and other unwelcome surprises. Have a building or home inspection done just to be safe.

If the condo complex is brand new, look into the builder and their history with the community. Go to their website or email them some questions or concerns.

Putting building amenities over location

Building amenities might be a great selling point for a lot of buyers but these shouldn’t beat location. The location of the property has a more positive effect on its value than the building’s amenities, especially in the long run.

Not researching the neighborhood

People look for different things in a neighborhood. Some focus on urban conveniences like being near shopping centers and restaurants. Others look for a great school district or a place close to parks and childcare centers. Look into the neighborhood in advance to find out if it meets your requirements. Do this by talking to potential neighbors and asking for their feedback about the community.

Not hiring a real estate agent

There is no downside to hiring a realtor to help you. It’s the best and easiest way to find the perfect condo for you. With their expert knowledge on condos and the local real estate market, you won’t have to worry about making the wrong choice. From looking at different condos to negotiations, your realtor will be there to guide you every step of the way.

Get started on finding the condo of your dreams today with me, Adam Fonda, your local community expert. Give me a call at 612.308.5008 or send an email to adam(dotted)fonda(at)lakesmn(dotted)com.