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The only costs borne specifically by the condo owner are interior repairs to his individual unit. Condos have a reputation as being more difficult to sell than houses, but that may be changing as more retiring baby boomers begin to downsize.

Approximately 10, baby boomers are retiring each day and many plan to sell their homes and move into lower maintenance townhouses and condos. RealtorMag, the official magazine of the National Association of Realtors, recently noted that baby boomers are buying condos and renting apartments at twice the rate of millennial buyers.

5 Signs a Condominium Association May Be in Trouble | HuffPost

This surge in demand for condos is favorable news for condo investors. Condos were the first property type to drop in price during the housing market collapse and have been among the last to recover. This is due to the fact that a high percentage of condo owners were first-time home owners who lacked sufficient savings to cover monthly mortgage payments as jobs disappeared.

Foreclosure activity hit record levels and devastated the condo market.

The Pros and Cons of Investing in Condos

So far in the recovery, buyers have been quick to jump on bargain-priced homes rather than condos. On the other hand, there are also specific challenges associated with this property type, some of which are discussed below:. HOA fees are collected from condo owners to cover the cost of complex exterior maintenance and landscaping, water bills, trash pick-up, snow removal and maintenance of shared amenities such as clubhouses, swimming pools and tennis courts.

CondoQuest: Our Mission

Monthly HOA fees can increase on short notice and special assessments are sometimes levied to cover major structural repairs or financial shortfalls. If you buy a condo in an older development, you are more likely to experience a big hike in HOA fees or a special assessment.

More to Consider

A simple change like choosing new paint colors for the condo may require prior approval from the HOA. Low fees may indicate that maintenance has been deferred, leading to special assessments in the future or long wait times for needed repairs, resulting in unhappy renters. Investors can minimize exposure to deferred maintenance risks by looking at recent HOA financials, assessing the level of reserves and how funds have been spent in recent years. Also ask how quickly maintenance issues are resolved and inspect the exterior of the structure, paying special attention to the condition of the roof, siding and balconies.

Another drawback of investing in condos is FHA rules that may make it difficult for potential buyers to secure financing.

For example, FHA will not fund a condo loan in a complex where more than 50 percent of the other units are owned by investors. FHA also restricts funding if there are many foreclosures within the complex or if a substantial amount of HOA dues are in arrears.

What You Need to Know About HOA Fees

Approval can be verified by checking the FHA database. Investors should also check the certification expiration date and whether the complex is seeking re-certification. The first document Toronto-based real estate lawyer Kate Rossi looks for is Form What is the ideal amount to have in a reserve fund? Anything above that indicates that the board may be putting aside a little more.

Condominium Fees explained

That also likely means that your condo corporation will have to borrow money and pay it back with interest, which could mean even more mounting costs. Some condos are blacklisted by mortgage lenders because of financial issues. If a homebuyer is mulling putting an offer on a condo that has a special assessment, Rossi advises them to bring up the issue with their mortgage lender before locking into the mortgage. Top Stories Auto. The status certificate, etc. Lifestyle I paid mostly with cash for a year and a half.