4 Things You Must Know Before Buying a Condo
Condominiums (condos) can be a good option for all kinds of homebuyers in the Tampa area — first-time homeowners, retirees and even people who are too busy for home maintenance. But like any other home purchase, it pays to understand the ins and outs of the Tampa condo market.
#1 A more affordable way to buy into a neighborhood
Do you think you might not be able to afford a house? Or do single-family home prices in your dream neighborhood stretch your budget too thin? A condo in that neighborhood might help make your dream a reality. Condos are often significantly more affordable than homes in the same area.
#2 Much of the upkeep and maintenance is not your responsibility
Condos are a good option for homebuyers who are too busy or simply aren’t interested in much of the routine maintenance and care that comes with owning a house. This is because condo homeowners associations (HOAs) take care of the maintenance and upkeep of common areas like lawns, tennis courts, and pools. HOAs typically even perform exterior painting as well. Of course, you pay into all of these services through HOA fees, which we’ll discuss more below.
#3 Take a look at the HOA Budget
Before you make an offer on a condo, ask the seller if you can take a look at the HOA budget. How much money is currently owed to the HOA? How many owners are behind on their dues? Does the HOA have enough in reserve funds to cover repairs (e.g., a particularly severe hurricane season or broken sprinklers)? Keep in mind that when an association doesn’t have enough money to cover expenses, it can charge owners special assessments or increase regular dues.
#4 You may (or may not) be able to rent out your condo
Many Tampa condo complexes place restrictions on the proportion of owner-occupied and rented condos. In fact, a lot of place restrictions allowing only a 20% rental rate in a building. If that’s the case, you may not be able to count on renting out your condo. If you’re looking to buy a condo as an investment, consult with a Realtor. They can help you find condos that don’t restrict rentals or that are compatible with other preferences you may have.