Condominiums Buyers Checklist
Making an offer to buy a condominium can be very exciting, but make sure to do your homework first! Below is a list of questions to ask and thing to consider, to minimize any surprises on move in day.
- What is the monthly association fee for the unit you are interested in?
- What does the monthly fee cover?
(management company, , insurance, snow removal, landscaping, common area cleaning, water, sewer, trash removal, road maintenance)
- What are unit owners responsible for?
- Are there any other additional required fees or expenses (gym/club, pool, tennis, etc.)?
- How old is the building? Recent improvements?
- What are the specific common areas?
- Do units have assigned parking spots/garages, decks/patios, yard areas, storage, etc.?
- How many units are in the association?
- What percentage of the units are owner occupied (many lenders have minimum requirements)?
- Ask for copy of the condominiums association Master Deed (understand what you are buying).
- Who is responsible for replacing windows, decks, hot water tanks, heating equipment, etc.
- Ask for a copy of the association by-laws (what is allowed, pet policy, age restrictions, quiet hours, guests, etc.)
- How much does the association have in reserve? Ask for copy of association budget and financial statement.
- Are there any expected/pending special assessments (large expenses)?
- Is the association professionally managed, or self managed by the unit owners?
- Are there any pending or anticipated legal actions against the association?
- What does the master insurance policy cover?
- Can owners rent out their units? Airbnb?
- How many guest parking spots are there, and where are they located?
- Restrictions on outdoor furniture, flags, plantings, outdoor grills, etc.
- Are home offices allowed? Can they have employees?
- Is the association FHA approved? (buyers will have better financing options)
- Visit the property at various times checking for loud noise, parking availability, crowded common areas, etc.
- Delinquency rate of unit owners paying monthly fees
- Are there restrictions (days/hours) on moving in and out? Moving fees?
- Ask you insurance agent to quote the cost of a condominium owners policy
Additional Online Resources
- Fannie Mae: Condo Buyer's Guide
- US News & World Report: 3 Reasons to Buy a Condo - and 3 Reasons to Beware
- NCLS: Massachusetts Condo Laws
- BankRate.com: 7 Tips for buying a condo in 2020
MA Condominiums by County