While you may have already found the perfect condo for you and your family, you still want to explorer the possibilities of this purchase before you sign on the dotted line. Many people planning to purchase a new home forget to do their homework and either end up with less home for their money or a home that doesn't meet all of their needs. Here are some helpful tips to insure that you get what you are looking for:
Define Your Needs
One of the most overlooked aspects of purchasing a condo is balancing your family's needs against the potential condo features you are interested in. You should write down your family's needs and the features you are looking for, including the number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, garage size, kitchen size, etc. Knowing what you want (and need) will save you tons of time and energy.
Consider the Location
Just like the age old real estate saying “location location location”, knowing the area you plan to live in is just as important as knowing the financial and structural facts of the home. What are the average home values in the neighborhood? How close are the schools local shopping? What are the morning traffic conditions for your commute to work? What is the proximity to friends and family?
Learn About the Condo
Learn all you can about each condo you view and make detailed notes. One of the questions you will want to ask is the home's current condition. Although a potential condo may have an external appearance of being structurally sound, in some cases that could be far from the truth. Ask for an inspection. Any reputable real estate agent won't refuse a request for a home inspection, and as a matter of fact, if you plan on securing a home loan, an inspection will undoubtedly be required.
Will the condo require any repairs before you move in? If so, estimate the time and cost of the repairs. Knowing the facts will give you leverage when it comes time to negotiate.
Protect Yourself at All Times
Ask a lot of questions and ask to see all related documents. If the seller says he has had a new heating system installed, then ask for proof! A home that has been carefully maintained will have documents to support it. When it is time to finalize the purchase of your new condo, make sure you understand everything before you sign. If you don't understand, don't sign until you do!