Questions to Ask Yourself Before Living in a Condo
Living in a condo may or may not suit you. How then would you know? Ask yourself the following questions before signing that contract and moving in.
Am I Capable of Paying More Than Just the Mortgage?
The truth is, the cost of living in a condominium does not end with the monthly mortgage fees. You would also need to pay for other things such as the association fees and the homeowner’s insurance costs, among others. According to Style at Home, the association fees are computed based on the size of your unit and are re-evaluated every year. If you have a larger condo unit, you will most likely be paying a bigger fee.
These association fees are usually used for the maintenance and operation of the entire building. It is used in paying for the security services as well as the property management team, if you have one. Part of the association fees are also allotted as a contingency fund, in case there are amenity repairs or upgrades needed to be done.
The insurance, on the other hand, ensures that the residents are financially protected in case major incidents that affect the entire complex occur. However, you might want to check whether the insurance also covers personal possessions or just the building itself. Also, see whether theft or flooding is part of the coverage. If not, you might have to apply for your own homeowner’s insurance policy.
Keep in mind that these fees are never-ending. So if you are keen on buying a new condo launch on Property Guru, you have to prepare yourself for these kinds of payments. Get a copy of the condo’s bylaws to get an idea as to the breakdown of fees and be sure to include them in your monthly budget.
Am I A Pro-People Person?
A lot of people usually think that living in a condo is all about being financially prepared, but in reality, you also need to consider its social aspect. If your goal is to isolate yourself from the outside world, then a condo setting may not be the best option for you. Whether you like it or not, you will have spontaneous and regular encounters with your neighbors—be it in the elevator or the hallway while you go about your daily business. Besides, you cannot forever pretend not to notice them or use your cell phone as an excuse when they try to strike up a conversation.
You also need to know that you will be living in the same building with different kinds of people, so you might want to do a little background check as to who your neighbors might be. If you are sensitive to noise, then choosing a unit next to a family with pets or students who love to party may not be a good idea.
Am I Willing to Abide by the Rules?
Aside from respecting the rights of your neighbors, there are still other rules you need to adhere to when you live in a condo. In fact, condominiums have certain bylaws that all residents are expected to follow, to ensure a happy and peaceful environment. Before you sign the contract, make sure that you have thoroughly read and understood all the rules that govern your complex. Keep in mind that these bylaws are legally binding, and breaking them might incur your penalties and sanctions.
Investopedia recommends that you carefully examine all the commonly overlooked, yet most important details in the bylaws, such as the building’s operating budget, restrictions on remodeling your unit, or subleasing it. You can also check for the rules regarding parking, pets, and the use of amenities. If you are not sure how to go about it, seek advice from your lawyer or real estate agent.
Am I Ready to be Part of an Association?
When you purchase a condo, you are also buying into a community. Although you may plan to just go your own way, as a homeowner, you would be required to do your part in the community now and then, which means attending and participating in homeowners’ meetings.
If there are rules you do not agree with, or your neighbor has been making unbelievable noise in the middle of the night, this would be the best time to get yourself heard and the right venue to express your concerns. Just keep in mind that the people who will be there during the meetings are not just random, faceless individuals. They are your neighbors; so be careful with the words you say.
Remember, you want to make the condo a pleasant place to live in, and starting a war will not do it.
Condos can be an incredible place to settle down in, but you have to prepare yourself completely so you can make the most out of it. Make sure you are ready to commit to it financially and socially. Know your responsibilities and have a great life staying there.