“As we get older, our real estate needs change. Perhaps you have reached the stage where you are ready to put up your house for sale and are thinking about buying something smaller, so you are going to be looking at condominiums.
Condos are wonderful if you are retiring. You have the beauty of ownership, but don’t have to worry about the exterior upkeep of your home. You can decorate the inside as you like, but know that your HOA is going to keep the salability of your home up due to its restrictions.
Some people find condos restrictive. It is always good to check out a condo neighborhood; find out from the residents how they feel about living there, and also check on what your HOA restrictions are and how well they are adhered to.
Check the resale value of your condo, and make sure it’s in the area of town you want to live and is a safe zone. If you find a place you love, you will want to double-check a lot of things before you move in, because once you’ve bought the condo, it may take a while to resell if you find yourself unhappy.
Find out what the HOA fees are and how much they have gone up from year to year. Make sure you are clear on exactly what they cover and what they do not. Also, talk to your would-be neighbors about how happy they are with their association. If there seems to be a lot of unhappiness, then this may not be the place for you to move to, no matter how much you’ve fallen in love with it.
Make sure to look at things like whether you need you to qualify for both the mortgage and the HOA fees in order to buy. Look at the resale rate, and weigh this against how long you plan to live in the condo. Finally, get some friends and family to check it out and give you their honest opinion.
Sometimes when we have fallen in love with something, we start wearing blinders, but those we love will be glad to set us straight if they think we are making a mistake.
When weighing the cost of your HOA fees, check out what sort of amenities the condo offers. If your HOA fees seem a bit steep, but they also offer a fitness center, swimming pool with a spa, a library, and for senior condos, trips and dinners and special outings, you may find the fees are worth the cost.
The most important thing about any real estate purchase is that what you buy to live in is what feels like home. Condos are a bit more tricky than your standard home, but if you are ready to retire, and want the joy of ownership without all the work of a house, then you may be exactly where you want to live.”