Condominiums can have charm, or reason for alarm. Although purchasing a condominium is the same process as buying any other residential property in terms of home loans and mortgage payments, Miami Beach condos have unique features that must be considered when shopping for your new home.
As with any purchase of property, your pre-approval is a necessary first step. Before cruising the condo scene, secure that home mortgage loan. When figuring in your monthly mortgage amount, don’t forget to consider things like homeowners insurance, flood or fire insurance, HOAs, and property taxes. These all apply to condominiums as well as single-family homes.
Work with a Professional, Qualified Real Estate Agent
The moment you’re pre-approved, give your real estate agent a call. Shopping for properties is not an adventure you want to set out on alone. If you don’t already have an agent you know and trust, ask your friends, family members, and associates who they prefer. Research. Read reviews, but know this: Your real estate agent should be an expert in the type of property you’re buying, be familiar with neighborhood nuances of the area in which you hope to live, and have top-notch communication skills. A good rapport is mandatory. Make sure your personalities align.
Your Wish List
Shopping for condos is every bit as much fun (or frustrating) as shopping for single-family properties. While you may be focused on amenities and convenience, you can also determine what types of finishes and features you’d like your home to have. Are you sleek chic, or rustic and rough around the edges? Modern, or traditional? Upgraded appliances, or basic needs? Know what it is you want, and where you’re willing to compromise. Make sure your must-haves align with your budget.
New or Used?
Shiny and new can eliminate fear of failing systems or damage. Pre-owned can provide lower payments. If you’re buying a pre-owned condo, investigate thoroughly for problems before you sign on the line. If new, research the builder.
Location, Location, Location
Based on the location in which you choose to live, prices and features may vary drastically. Location may also have bearing on weather influences. And just because a condo is located in the general vicinity of where you’d like to live doesn’t necessarily mean it will be up to par with your wish list. What means more to you, location, cost, or features? You may find yourself making difficult choices.
Stop, Look, and Listen
You’re not just buying a home, you’re buying a neighborhood. Even if the condo you’re about to see is exactly where you’d envisioned it, take a moment to stop, look, and listen. Is the area clean, safe, and well maintained? Do you hear annoying dogs, crying babies, screaming children, honking horns, loud buses, or other sounds you may find infuriating in time? Before you even tippy one toe into the building, make sure the surroundings suit your liking. When inside the unit, do the same. Are outside noises filtering in? How are the views?
If you own cars, check out the parking situation. Many condominiums come with only one assigned parking space. Even if there is only one car, inquire as to whether or not that assigned parking spot is deeded to the property. Otherwise, lacking of parking could prove problematic should you wish to sell. Is the parking garage prone to flooding? If you don’t own a car, are you close to public transportation? Although home is where you settle down, know how you’ll get around town.
Many condominiums come with scrumptious perks like fitness facilities, sparkling swimming pools, and other delightful details. Make sure the amenities match up with your wish list, and know what those amenities may cost you in terms of HOA fees.
Weather or Not
Mother nature is moody in Florida. Check windows and doors to see if they’re hurricane and weather proof. If not, inquire as to whether or not you can make them so. You may also benefit from researching homeowners insurance to find out what weather damage may or may not be covered.
The condo life is highly sought after with much to offer. Know what you need, what you want, where you want to be, what you’re willing to pay, and when you’re willing to compromise.
Your best source for real estate and community information is your real estate agent. Contact Juan Leal at 305-982-7405 to learn more about local neighborhoods, discuss selling your house, or to tour available homes in Miami and surrounding areas.