Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or just a first-time condo buyer, you might be wondering about how the process is different from buying a traditional detached home. Although you'll typically arrange financing and handle purchasing in many of the same ways, there are a few unique aspects you'll need to keep in mind.
The more you know about these differences, the smoother your transaction will ultimately be. Keep reading to learn three ways that buying a condo may be a unique experience compared to purchasing a typical single-family home.
1. You Might Need Special Financing
The requirements for condominium mortgages can be different than other types of mortgages. Although many lenders provide condominium financing, you'll need to discuss the special terms with your financial institution in advance. For instance, you may need to put down a higher down payment or meet other requirements to complete the underwriting process.
Note that securing a loan for a condo isn't necessarily harder as long as you meet credit and income requirements. Instead, it simply may come with some additional caveats. By discussing these with your lender during the prequalification process, you can avoid any hurdles once you find a condo that you're ready to purchase.
2. You'll Need to Research the Homeowner's Association
Condominium homeowner associations (HOAs) are a critical part of life in these communities. Since you typically won't own the land around your condo or even the structure's exterior, you'll rely on the association for maintenance and upkeep. Before purchasing, you'll need to research the association fees and everything they include.
You'll also want to determine your responsibilities. While you're generally always responsible for your new condo's interior, other obligations may vary. For example, you may be responsible for maintaining the exterior of your home in communities with detached or semi-detached condominiums. Make sure you understand the dividing line between the association responsibilities and your own.
3. You'll Be Closer to Your Community
Condo living often falls somewhere between living in a detached home and living in an apartment building. You'll usually be closer to other members of your community, especially if you're moving into a condo complex or building rather than a semi-detached structure. As a result, you should factor the community into your purchasing decision when looking at condos.
Condominiums are an excellent choice for first-time homebuyers or anyone that wants to reduce the hassle of maintaining a detached home. While the process of buying a condo isn't complicated, it's crucial to keep these differences in mind so that you can find the perfect home for you and your family. For more information regarding condominiums for sale, contact a real estate service.