Condo Living – The Seven Deadly Sins

1) Don’t compare before buying. Fall in love with the place, and don’t check on your future neighbors. Don’t familiarize yourself with the neighborhood and just feel as if you and your family have been parachuted in this unit.

2) Don’t bother to read the minutes of the annual meeting of the homeowner’s association that the owner will supply to your real estate agent to give you a background of the activities of the condo. Don’t make a distinction between normal and capital expenditures and don’t find out about the importance of a reserve fund.

3) Don’t attend the annual meeting of the condo owners, and don’t find out what’s in store for the next year, or what happened last year. Don’t think of investing a few minutes of your time to study the financial statements of the last 5 years including the notes attached herewith that could shine a bright light on the financial status of the association.

4) Don’t be present at special assessment meetings that are often called to explain in somewhat great details the sums to be levied to pay for unforeseen or badly planned capital expenditures, and don’t ask questions about the extra fees that may be required that can last for many years

5) Don’t get involved on any committee, or on the board of administrators and don’t enquire or try to sense the degree, not of the social skills of the administrators, but of their building-management or business acumen and competence

6) Don’t take care of your unit, and plan to leave before major renovations are required, leaving the mess to others. Don’t care if the other unit owners have a similar attitude and believe this “laissez-faire” philosophy.

7) Don’t read the rules and regulations of the homeowner’s association guide and let others worry about the state of the building and its management.

Condo Living – Your Homeowner’s Association’s Annual Meeting

Of all the activities while residing in a condominium, the most important for a unit owner is to attend the annual meeting of the homeowner’s association.

Usually, great care is given by the elected administrators and the professional management firm in preparation of the annual meeting.

A notice is sent weeks prior to the annual meeting, and a condo owner has no excuse not to attend.

The administrator usually the president or the secretary of the association will read the minutes of last year’s meeting and will then present the report on the state of the building .You will learn what happened during the last year, what is planned for the next year, and if need by a five or ten year plan of capital expenditures will be presented to the owners.

The financial statements will then be presented by an outside, independent firm and you will be able to assess the quality of the management of the funds by the administrators and the manager. It is very important to differentiate the usual expenditures that are covered by the income/expenditures report and the status of the capital expenditures that should be dealt with in the most attentive way. The reports from engineers and contractors listing what has to be done on an on-going basis to ensure the worthiness of the building will give the owners peace-of-mind since it will prevent the unit owners to face unplanned and unforeseen expenses that could prove catastrophic. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. The annual meeting is a unique occasion for unit owners to meet and find out the state of the building and the resources necessary to keep in good shape.

A condo is in many ways a very large part of an owner’s net worth. To participate and to inquire during the annual meeting about the state of your asset is the most important responsibility for a conscientious and responsible owner.

The Perks of Living in a Condominium

One of the main goals in life of a person is to finally have a place to call his own. Having your own home is a clear indication that you have already done a lot of things in your life and that you are stable enough to be considered as a homeowner. However, planning to purchase your own home is difficult since you need to consider whether you would like to have a traditional house and lot, or to have a condominium unit. While most people would normally choose a house and lot, there are a lot of benefits in choosing to invest in a condominium. Here are some of the perks of living in a condominium.

Ensured safety. A lot of people find condominiums more appealing than a house on a lot. This is because they are easier to maintain. Condominium units are also easier to protect and therefore the safety of your family members is assured when you live in one. Although you may choose not to have CCTV cameras inside your unit, the halls of each floor are equipped with several cameras so that the building’s security personnel can easily monitor the people who are entering and leaving the condominium building. Some of the more high-end buildings have top-notched security systems which will make even the most meticulous and paranoid unit owner at ease. You can even instruct the security personnel in your building to only allow a limited list of people who can enter and visit you.

More affordable. Since a condominium unit does not entail land ownership, purchasing one is relatively more affordable than owning a house on a lot. If your condominium is within the city, you can do away with having to own a vehicle since you can easily walk or take the bus or subway to and from your unit to your workplace.

High Resale Value. If your condominium is at a great location, you can be assured that it will get a high resale value in case you want to sell it in the future. You can also get a high mortgage value for your unit in case you will need to have a loan.

Communal benefits. Another perk of having a condominium is that the shared or combined ownership of the building will let owners have access to the existing facilities and amenities such as the gym and pool for free. However, you must also be aware when you live in a condominium; you will have to pay for HOA fees or Home Owners’ Association fees. The fees collected through HOA will be used for improving and upgrading the shared facilities and security of the building.

Location and accessibility. Owning a condominium unit within the city will give you an enviable location and easier access to your place of work and other business establishments without having to have a long commute. If your condominium unit is within the city, you will no longer need to wake up too early just to avoid the rush hour traffic. Also, if you are the person who enjoys the nightlife, having a condominium unit will allow you to have easier access to the hottest clubs and entertainment venues at night.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Living in a Condominium

Living in a condominium seems to be a good choice for people who like to be in the heart of the city. For many it is better than living in an apartment. Condominium living has so many great things to offer than an apartment. But let me tell you now, before you finally make a purchase, that living in a condominium is different from living in a single family home unit. This is mostly because of its particularities.

• Condominiums are located in the cities and when living in a condominium, you own the space between the walls of your unit and share ownership of the common areas with other owners, but you do not own the land where the building is built. You just share an interest in it with your neighbors.

• Most people who live in condominiums own their spaces. Therefore, you can have long term neighbors and build relationships with them, but you also have to share walls and common areas with them. If you are not a very social person, this could become a problem for you.

• Condominiums offer better security than apartments. Condominium buildings often have security features, be they buzzers or a guard service. Plus, you find it easy to leave the place for a trip or vacation knowing that you’ve got neighbors whom you are familiar with. The thing that you might find a problem is the sharing of amnesties with your neighbors and whenever there’s a association meeting, as a part of the community you have to show up, attain, and coordinate.

• Living in a condominium could be less expensive than living in an apartment, but with the maintenance and repair of the common areas, your monthly pay could go upward. You will be charge with the swimming pool fee, but you didn’t use it.

• More people, especially first time buyers prefer condominiums because it is less expensive than those residential single family homes. But in real estate market, when there’s a downfall, condominiums are the last to recover. Therefore, it will be hard to sell a condominium after a tough climate.

• In condominiums, you have access to gym, swimming pool, and other common areas that you would not be able to afford on your own. But the problem is, there’s what we call Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs), a set of rules that forbids space owners to bring pets or make a renovation and many others.

I hope you found this article helpful in making decision whether you like to buy a condominium or go for a single family house.

Benefits Of Living In Condominium Residences

When it comes to a place to live in, individuals have numerous options. For one, individuals can start from scratch. Next, individuals can purchase pre-owned real estates. Or perhaps, purchase or rent out new houses, apartments or condominiums.

As of now, more and more individuals tend to invest in condominium residences than other housing options since condominiums can provide better benefits for individuals. To know more, below are some of the benefits of living in condominium residences.

Appealing locations

One of the benefits of living in condominiums residences is individuals can stay in appealing locations. Of course, when choosing a place to live in, location is one of the most important factors you need to consider. Apart from the spectacular views you can see, it is important to make sure that condominiums are situated in areas when individuals can easily go to the metropolis. In this way, going to work, school or even malls can be more efficient. Plus, condominium residences can provide you with a secured place for you and your family since their residences are equipped with the latest and most effective security devices.

Better access to transportation

The next benefit individuals can attain when staying in condominium residences is you have better access to transportation. This is important to allow you to go to work easily. Luckily, some condominiums are located near bus and train stations. Other than that, some condominiums are close to major road ways. As a result, moving in the area can be more efficient.

Top-class quality

Another benefit that individuals can obtain when staying in condominium residences is you are rest assured that you are living in a top-class structure. This is possible since this type of structures are designed and constructed by reliable and leading real estate developers. Because of this, individuals are rest assured property styles and features can match your needs. Not to mention, condominiums are created from durable and top-class materials to ensure that it will last for a long time.

Attractive pricing

Finally, condominium residences these days offer attractive pricing. This is achieved since some developers offer numerous payment options. In addition, some condominiums offer rental options. With these options, individuals can make sure that they can find the right condominium that can match their budget.

With all these benefits, individuals who are looking for a wonderful place to live in can make better decisions which can complement their lifestyle easily. Click here for more.