Buying Condos - A Guide for First Time Home Buyers

If you are thinking of purchasing a condominium unit, you must be well aware of the fact that condos are among the trending real estate properties and are experiencing the most transactions these days. This is mainly due to their affordability and convenience as they perfectly fit the requirements of both first timers as well as those homeowners who are looking to downsize their living needs.

There used to be a time when condominiums had a somewhat negative reputation among real estate properties. However, as of today, these units are earning much appreciation from prospective buyers and gaining quite considerable market value as a result. In some markets, condos are increasing in prices almost as rapid as the costs of single-family homes. The sudden spike in condominium unit purchases is mostly due to most condo owners finding out that these units were well worth the investment.

If you are also looking to avail the various benefits condos have to offer but don’t have much experience in real estate affairs then this guide will be quite helpful for you. First and foremost, before you consider buying any real estate property, let alone a condominium unit, you should know exactly what you’re looking for and exactly what you should be avoiding so you should end up regretting your purchase.

Some of the questions that you should have answers to, before you seal your condominium unit deal, are given below:

What are the monthly fees for the condominium?

Are there any unnecessary inclusions in the fee? Are there any additions such as extra charges for amenities you won’t be using in the fee? Consider scouting other condominium complexes nearby and compare their fees as well as additional charges with the one you are thinking of buying.

What is the reputation of the homeowners’ association looking over the condo community?

Consult your prospective neighbors, they’ll tell you how much satisfied they are (if they are at all) with the homeowners’ association service. Can they handle all kinds of repair and maintenance expenses or would they just leave them be? Make sure you ask the condominium board about the rules, by-laws, restrictions, covenants, conditions, and the latest financial assessments.

Does the community have its own property manager?

If the condominium community is handled by a professionally managed association that has their own professional condominium property manager looking after the community, it is probably the most favorable aspect for you. A professional manager will make sure the complex is properly maintained and all issues are dealt with accordingly.

How many renters are residing in the community as compared to owners?

You might want to avoid living in a condominium complex which has more renters than owners. This is mainly due to the fact that the more renters there are, the complex will remain busy with people leaving and moving in all the time. However, if you’re more of a people’s person then this is all the while better for you.

Thursday, October 16 2014

Booking Condo Amenities Made Easy With A Competent Portal Tool

When you set out to choose the ideal condominium for settling down with your family, you evaluate every property you visit, to see whether it contains all the basic amenities essential for a comfortable living experience or not. 

Whether you seek to rent the place or purchase it as your home, the condo that you choose should offer the basic supply of essential amenities like electricity, gas and water, along with some added beneficial features like close access to transport and grocery outlets. These things, though seemingly not that important, can mean all the difference once you settle down with your family in your new home. 

Condo boards and authorities are responsible for taking care of all the needs and requirements of all condominium residents. They are responsible for providing all necessary essentials while also taking care of all repair and maintenance work needed on the property. 

With the popularity of condos and the rising demand of these properties on the market, the newly constructed condominiums are being upgraded with every feature and amenity, suited to provide the residents with a comfortable living experience. With the small comfortable units fully equipped with all vital needs, condos are fast becoming the preferred living unit which is both affordable and an easy way to enjoy the freedom of a place of your own.     

But while initially when you settle down into a condo your life might be a breeze, sooner or later you might find the need to consult the authorities for some much needed repair and maintenance work, or simply to book for any new amenity that the board has introduced for the benefit of its condo residents. 

In order to reach the concerned and responsible authorities, it is imperative to have a means of communication which is both efficient and warrants easy access to the liable authorities. An efficient condo communication portal proves to be the answer to the woes of all condo residents who seek a system which would connect them to the board members to share their concerns. 

The task of booking condo amenities becomes as easy as anything for residents, with a communication portal which offers the comfort of easy connection, with no associated hassle. Usualy communication portals are used to reach out to the board members with any condo related issues, suggestions and feedback. But the most efficient of portals also offer additional features which serve to make the lives of condo residents easier. With a portal system which offers the convenience to  book the required amenities from the comfort of your newly moved in condo, residents like you are spared the worry and hassle of trying in vain to get in touch with the concerned authorities for a lengthy period of time. 

Efficient portal systems ensure a prompt communication of the required amenities to the responsible authorities, with no need to for you to wait for weeks or months on end, to avail the basic amenities that you require. 

With a competent communication portal tool, condo living is made easy and comfortable. 



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Monday, October 13 2014

Four Questions You Must Have Answers to Before You Decide to Sell Your Condo

If you wish to sell your condo townhouse or condo apartment then you need to know that selling this type of property is different as compared to selling a house. Selling a condo requires a rather complex process. This is mostly due to the fact that no two complexes featuring condos are the same. Plus, the chances for litigation are higher. As such, before deciding to sell your condo or hiring an real esatate sales agent to help you out in the process, you need to have the answers of the following four questions:

1. Does the real estate agent you are consulting actually have sufficient experience in selling condos?

Most inexperienced or aspiring real estate agents are likely to list freehold homes in the listings as condominiums. This is mostly due to the fact that they fail to understand the difference between ownership of freehold common elements and ownership of condominiums. Moreover, some agents even list condos while having no clue of the condo association’s embroilment in costly litigation with the authorities that carried out the building process (i.e. the builder). Therefore, before listing your condo townhouse or apartment for sale through a realtor, you should make sure that the person has sufficient experience in selling condos.

2. Are there any pending increases or special assessments in your condo?

Is the association that looks after your complex in the middle of levying your unit for a special assessment, or has it already happened? You need to disclose this information to all prospective buyers. Apart from that, another thing that the buyers should know is that whether or not the condo board is about to increase the condo’s fee.

3. Are there any restrictions on occupancy that prospective buyers should know of?

Does your condo complex allow pets? Is it possible for a prospective buyer of your condo to rent it? Is it possible for the buyer to operate their business from inside the unit? If there are any restrictions like these or similar, you should tell all potential buyers about them first hand. You can find this information in your condo by-laws and policies.

4. Which category does your condo exactly fall into?

Do you know which category your condo exactly belongs to? There are several regions in which townhouse complexes have variation from the standard complexes. Some of these have condo corporations responsible for the maintenance of exterior doors, windows, roofs, etc. On the other hand, others leave all of these and similar responsibilities to the owners of the units. There can even be a few complexes that require both the condo boards and the unit owners to cooperate during the maintenance processes. If you are listing your condo for sale then you need to add all of this information along with it.

Simply put, in case you decide to sell your condominium townhouse or apartment, you need to know exactly what you are doing. If you can’t seem to have sufficient information, it is always the best option to consult a professional agent.

Wednesday, October 08 2014

Condominium Properties: The Manager's Perspective

Condominium boards usually prefer hiring a licensed, professional property management company or manager to look after their everyday tasks. To make sure there aren’t any unnecessary confusions and frustrations, it is essential to understand the role of a condominium property manager first along with the duties that can be expected from them.

Generally, there are two main responsibilities of a condominium property manager:

  1. Looking after the condo community’s day to day operations
  2. Making sure the policies defined by the condominium board are being implemented properly.

The manager isn’t primarily a member of the condo board, but is rather an advisor, and the only authority that carries out any tasks as directed by the board.

If the residents have any concerns or issues that are to be addressed by the board, all of their queries go through the condominium property manager first. It should be understood that the manager cannot approve of anything unless the condo board agrees. The board is the governing authority that should be consulted for any approvals.

In situations where conflicts arise, the manager is the person who is held directly responsible for settling them. The manager should foresee if there are any condominium community regulations which are being violated and settle the conflicts accordingly. Being trained in handling conflicts, the property manager should know how to deal with the situation without sparking up further controversy or getting involved in the argument himself.

If any unit owner is facing a situation with another owner who is not related to the rules of the condo community then the manager should not be asked for involvement. Furthermore, it is important to note that the manager cannot have a say when it comes to setting policies. Unit owners having issues with any policies need to consult the condo board directly.

Friday, October 03 2014

Convenient Information Access And Document Security With Secure Condo Communication Portals

Are you seeking a suitable condominium to settle in? What makes you think that the one you have chosen is indeed the most suitable one for your use?

Unfortunately, condominiums are chosen with an eye to their location, space, offered features, availability of amenities and price, only. While all these factors are of immense importance to the residents of a condo property, there are a few other considerations which should also be ascertained before making a final choice. 

Condo properties are supervised and maintained by board and association members, who are responsible for all repair and maintenance work, along with the upgrade of all the basic amenities. In order to remain in contact with the concerned board members it is essential to have a condo portal system which ensures easy access and means of communication between the condo residents and the board members. 

An efficient condo portal ensures easy reach to the responsible individuals, while communicating the needs and issues of condo residents for immediate maintenance action. Without an effective portal, problems and issues are sure to pile up, making the lives of condo residents a hassle and burdening the members with an ever increasing pile of work to be done. 

The most basic reason for the discomfort of a condo resident is the problem they face in trying to get a pressing property issue solved within a suitable time frame. With no suitable means of communication, both condo residents and board members are unable to communicate their problems and are at standstill at what to do. Portal tool systems are an answer to all this mess.

Not only do these tools ensure easy communication of problems, issues and suggestions, they also serve as a convenient means for access to important information. Condo residents can easily update their current information on the portal, and share them with the board members for their use. Board and association members can easily access the current information of residents for their management use. With efficient portal systems, uploading latest information is as easy as one, two, three, while gaining access to it by board members is also an easy task. No long and tedious work involved in trying to update a system or inform the authorities about a change in email address or contact number. 

For board members security of certain documents and association related information is of extreme importance. In trying to keep the condo residents informed of any change in policies or amenity provision, board members are always a little hesitant as they fear the access of unauthorized individuals to the important property documents. A portal system which ensures security is just the thing that condo board members need to easily share the condo details with the residents with no fear of any unauthorized access or leakage of vital information. 

Most efficient portals offer a security feature which limits unauthorized access of secured documents by anyone other than the board members and the condo residents. This makes it easy to share important information and documents with no associated risk or fear of any lapse in security. 

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Thursday, September 25 2014

Love Thy Neighbor – Be Receptive And Considerate Towards Their Problems Through A Condo Portal

Some people say that there is a greater affinity towards neighbors when one is living in a condo. There is a higher chance of people coming together as a community when they are living in the same building. Sure, there is always the argument that people living in bungalows also have great relations with their neighbors but that sense of duty that comes with sharing one building is more so there when living in a condo.

People living in condos share not only the building, but the amenities and utilities that come with them. They share the same visual and audible space and are also responsible for each other’s comfort. If your music is too loud, you will disturb your neighbors. If your bathroom has seepage, the neighbor below your floor will have leakage. If you park your car wrong, you are probably intruding in your neighbor’s parking space, and if your kid hits the neighbor’s kid, then well, you might need to face the police. Point is, lives of condo residents are more dependent on each other than they would like. And it does not matter if you have an introverted personality, you will have to compromise, cooperate and even coordinate.

Election of the condo board is highly important. One needs to choose these individuals very carefully because their quality of work will determine your lifestyle in the condo. Thus, one needs to ensure that only the most competent people are elected, and it would be better if they come from varied backgrounds. A person from real estate, another from law, and a third from property management will do a great job looking after the building. Throw in a finance expert as treasurer and you have the dream team running the condo affairs. Elect the wrong people and you will have all your complaints unanswered and life equivalent to living in a prison.

One another way of ensuring that all condo matters are dealt with properly is through a condo portal. One online system to contain, archive, track and notify all condo related matters is a great investment. How easy it would be to file a complaint at the click of a button as and when you encounter it. No more waiting to get that feedback form and then getting it filed so that when the board sits on Saturday, they can review it and take another week to fix it. All your bills will come to you and its schedule and history archived for you. It would be much more convenient to look after these amenities without all that grubby paperwork involved.

All the residents can give their input over condo matters through this online portal since everyone can have access to it. Cost sharing will allow affordability for everyone and great convenience. People would be more willing to get involved in solving condo matters if the process is easy. Otherwise, why would anyone care to go through the hassle unless and until the problem becomes their’s?

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Tuesday, September 23 2014