THERE’S MORE THAN POOLS AND PALM TREES WITH CONDOSNovember 15, 2010
When looking at a Condo for yourself or your customer pay attention and look at more than just the pools and palm trees. Of course the inside of the unit and the amenities are important but there are many more aspects to take a look at.
First of course is the unit itself. Pay attention to finishes, workmanship, and the little extras that set one unit in a complex apart from other complexes. Is the crown molding even or wavering? Are tile surfaces properly grouted and sealed? Do a marble test on counter tops and flat surface floors. Uneven floors and counters can cause problems in the future. Pay attention to comer beads, bull nose tile surfaces, caulking or lack of, etc.
Pay attention to the outside of the buildings and concrete surfaces. Are there excessive cracks showing up in recently finished buildings, rust from concrete rebar showing, or stains of various kinds. These can all be signs of improper construction and can lead to costly repairs and assessments for owners in the future. Are the grounds and amenities being maintained and cleaned properly? If not why? Management, staffing, or budget problems?
Next, look at the financials for the past several years if you can get a hold of them through the association or current owner. Are they having a hard time making budget each year which can result in annual assessments to cover budget shortfalls? Next pay special attention to the history of the monthly or quarterly condo fees. Look at the figures. Are there substantial increases each year? Do they look excessively high or noticeable low? Either way should set off a red flag. Good associations should manage proactively, not reactively. If a monthly condo fee looks low it could be because that association is not setting proper funds to the reserve funds and any time work needs to be done, then the owners have to be assessed. (Reserve Funds are kind of like rainy day funds or savings accounts to replace or repair major components of the complex like roofs, pools, parking lots, generators, etc, etc, etc.). Excessively high condo fees could be the result of bad management, poor maintenance standards, excessive spending.
Get your questions answered before you buy. Then purchase that “Piece of Paradise” and enjoy it.
Area Realtor for 31 YearsThis entry was posted in Northwest Florida, Panama City Beach, Real Estate. Bookmark the permalink.