Are You Thinking Condo?
Published: February 02 2012
There are several popular condo buildings in Omaha. This may be an excellent choice for some people. Nevertheless, a recent article from RIS Media caught my eye. The article had several terrific tips for people who fall in love with a condo and wish to make an offer. I want to share them with you:
- Find out who manages the condo. Talk to neighbors, ask people in near-by buildings and if the place is under professional management, then talk to the manager. You don’t want a bad manager.
- Request a look at the minutes of the condo association board. It is important to find out if there are repeat complaints about things such a faulty plumbing or the look of the common areas. Complains such as these may indicate the complex is having management difficulties. Reading the condo minutes will also give you an indication of what the association is planning such as upcoming projects (perhaps costly) which will affect your future. Projects the Sellers may have neglected to mention.
- What are the rental policies of the condo? If you intend to sublease your unit because you’re going on sabbatical you need to know before you buy if renting is allowed at all. If they allow renting ask for a copy of the association’s rental lease contract and have your attorney review it.
- Find out the delinquency rate of the present owners. It may be a sign of discontent or an indication of an underfunded association if the owners are paying their association dues on time.
- Find out how much is currently in the repair fund. Here is what should be the rule of thumb when you are looking into the repair fund.
- If the condo is less than 10 years old then the fund should contain at least 10% of replaceable costs for items such as the roof, the HVAC systems, etc.
- If the condo is 10 – 20 years old then the fund should contain at least 25-30% of replacement costs.
- If the condo is 20+ years old then the fund should contain at least 50%+ of replacement costs.
- Obtain a copy of the certificate of insurance. If you don’t know how to read an insurance policy, ask an insurance agent you trust to go over it with you. The 2 questions you need answered are:
- Are the replacement costs covered by the policy an accurate estimate of the cost of rebuilding; and,
- What items does the policy cover and what are you personally responsible for covering.
- Have a local real estate attorney review the association by-laws. Do they make sense? Are they consistent with the state laws? ALSO, have the attorney screen the association at the local courthouse to determine if any owners have filed suit against it. These are things you need to know before you sign on the dotted line.
Let me help you making certain your condo-buying experience is the best it can be. Give me a call at 402-670-8775 or email me at Marie.Otis@cbshome.com.