Ten Tips to select a great townhouse, condo community.
Townhouses, condos and other association governed communities enable the average American to live “like a Hilton” affording such luxuries as swimming pool, spa, tennis courts, golf course, docks, river view , ocean view or health and fitness center – right in their own back yard.
Through shared ownership in a community residents can enjoy recreational facilities and amenities that otherwise would be cost prohibitive for them individually.
An additional benefit is that homeowners do not have direct responsibility for maintenance and they usually feature attractive combinations of well designed homes and landscaped open areas. Ownership in an association governed community can also save homeowners on property taxes and typically cost less than traditional housing due to more efficient use of land.
How do you know when a community is right for you?
Top 10 List of questions to ask and things to consider when purchasing a home or condo in an association governed community.
10. Think about how long you’re going to stay in one place. You will also need to evaluate how your needs will change over the years abd plan for what will satisfy your needs in the future. (ie: planning a family, retirement..)
9. Give a lot of thought to what you want and know yourself. Are you looking for a social environment or just a quiet place to relax? Is a singles atmosphere for you? Will you take advantage of the arts and crafts classes? If you’re not interested in the or sauna, you will still be paying for it in ongoing monthly association fees. Think about which amenities you, your family and your expected quests will get used on a regular basis.
8. Comparison shop. Visit several condos, tongues, homes to know what’s available and to get a sense of prevailing prices. Find the right place for you and don’t just settle.
7. Get pre-qualified for a mortgage. Obtain your credit report from all 3 credit reporting agencies, check it for errors, and then determine how much you can comfortably afford on a down payment. In New Jersey you can get FREE credit report once a year.
6. Find out if the community you are interested in has a good reputation. Ask current residents how often repairs and maintenance is required and how good the soundproofing is between units.
5. Check out parking, storage, security and other necessities. Make sure there is ample storage space to avoid future inconvenience. Ensure there is enough parking in cases when you’ve more than one vehicle. Understand what the parking rules are before you move in.
4. Ask to see the minutes from a recent meeting of the homeowners association for the community. Identify the hot button issues and the dynamics of the relationships between current members, the board and homeowners.
3. Check the homeowners association history of maintenance fees and special assessments to see how often they have been increased in the past 10 years and how large the increases have been. This information will help you gauge at what level you may be assessed in the future and indicates how well-managed the buildings and common ground are. Well managed associations grounds usually make for lower maintenance fees, and lessen the chance for special assessments to cover un budgeted repairs.
2. Factor these association maintenance fees into your personal budget, which are above and beyond your monthly mortgage payment.
1. Make an offer and close the deal to enjoy all the benefits of living in an association governed community. Participate in the process of running your community through board or committee service.