Being a first-timer condo homeowner can be stressful for some people who didn’t even do the right research before buying a condo unit. Some of us think that it’s the same as buying a house, but it’s not. This is because you’ll not only be sharing walls with other homeowners as well but also the amenities or recreational places within the building.

The HOA or homeowner’s association helps many processes from decision-making to maintaining a clean, safe, and community-friendly neighborhood. As part of the association, you can also help with making the rules and regulations that are enforced within the community. There are a lot of restrictive rules that can be annoying for some homeowners.

Here are some of the things to know about HOA’s before buying a condominium or apartment:

 1. PACKAGE DEAL 

One thing to keep in mind is that you’ll have to pay for everything whether you use it or not.

 A good example of this is the amenities within the community, like the pools, clubs, sports halls, and so on. You’ll need to pay for it even though you’re not going to use them. It’s because living in residential communities is a package of legal rights and obligations. The living space you bought came with a package of almost everything within the community.

Having them sometimes can be a good thing, but not always. It’s like you’re paying for something without even getting to use or taste them. So, make sure to use them and take note of the time you can use these places, so you’ll know when it matches your schedule.

Make sure to check the additional fees and rules for guests, like your family and friends before you share these recreational places with them. As some amenities have different policies and regulations when it comes to guests.

 2. MORTGAGE

For most condominium developments, HOA’s do not include property taxes. It could cost you a low approval amount compared to choosing a property that has lower or no fees at all if your HOA fees are higher. When deciding on how much mortgage you can afford, your HOA fees that you’ll need to pay monthly is considered by banks. This could result in dealing with annoying tradeoffs as you’re deciding on the properties. 

If you don’t have any connection with lenders, there’s an online mortgage calculator that might help you calculate the approximate mortgage payment for the capital you’re looking for. It will also help you input important information which includes the down payment that you’ve planned to pay.

3. RESEARCH

Who would want to buy a product that has a problem? It’s the same thing with condo units. You have to avoid those condominiums with problems. Research about the residential community you’re planning to buy a house in. You might want to check both the tax litigation and legalization history and other general things to avoid issues in the future. It could also help to do research about the homeowner’s association. To protect and save yourself when you buy a condo, you could also attend their meetings. You can also get help from real estate agencies in Denver that have prior experience when you want to purchase it.

You don’t want to be a part of pending lawsuits there that you might find. Because of low dues and unpaid HOA fees, some have gone bankrupt. Lenders usually stop finance offers on the condo units, once they get delayed in receiving payments which could greatly affect the aftermarket values.

It’s good if they fund reserve for maintenance, repairs, and/or emergencies. Financial records for reserve funds, crime, and even misconduct are also important to review. If the condo unit price is low but the assessment for tax is high, you may be set to pay a tax bill that is higher than what you’re expecting. So make sure to check their recent property tax assessment.

To sum it up

Before you purchase a unit, make sure to take the time to research the HOA. Check out the mortgage approval, litigations, insurance, and tax property. Condominiums are a good investment if you take time to do the important steps before you purchase it.