Buying condos are an ideal choice for city living. With the recent growth of new luxury condos available in Boston, now is the time to find a place close to the action. Condos allow you to live in the city while still getting the benefit of owning property. Instead of throwing your money away on rent, purchase a condo and earn equity. The following are a few tips to help you with your purchase of a Boston condo.
- Use a realtor. Many people hesitate to use a realtor because they want to avoid paying the realtor fees. However, realtors provide a wealth of experience and knowledge that can greatly benefit your search for the perfect place to live. If you are buying a condo, the seller plays the realtor’s commission, so you get the benefit without the pricetag.
- Hire a lawyer. This is another place where people tend to scrimp to save some money. It is in your best interest to use a lawyer whenever you are signing a legal document. In many cases, purchasing a home is the most expensive purchase you will make in your lifetime. This isn’t a time to scrimp on the lawyer. Make sure everything in your agreement is solid by having a lawyer look everything over.
- Consult a mortgage lender. Before you look for a place to buy, you need to know how much you can afford. Consult a mortgage lender and find out how much of a mortgage you can handle and figure out your price range. This can help you narrow the search by only visiting places you can realistically purchase.
- Remember extra costs. There will be closing costs, insurance costs, moving costs, taxes and lawyers fees. Don’t forget to consider condo association fees as well. You need to make sure you know how much money you’ll be spending on a monthly basis and at the time of closing.
- Visit a variety of condos. There are all types of condos available: high rise, low rise, with and without amenities. Visit a variety of places to get a feel for the atmosphere and learn what you like best. Is an onsite gym important or do you prefer a smaller building?
Purchase the largest you can afford. Studios and one bedroom apartments are harder to sell. If you can afford a two bedroom apartment, it may be easier for you to sell down the road, even if you don’t need the space right away. Decide whether the higher payment is worth the easier sale later on.
- Visit the neighborhood. Take a walk around the neighborhood at different times of day. Nighttime may have a different feel than during the day when more people are at work. Know what you are buying by taking the time to do a little research into the neighborhood.
Remember the view. A better view is always a plus when you look out the window. It may also help you sell your place further on. Look out and see if you are over the garbage pickup or if a lot of traffic will be passing by. A bright and sunny view may be hot during the summer. Taking the time to consider the view may help your resale efforts, and may just make your living conditions more enjoyable.
- Think about the location. Of course, you want to make sure you are in a good neighborhood, with quality schools. You will also want to consider the layout of the condo building and where your unit is located. Do you want to be close to the laundry unit, if your building has one? Any added perks that will make you love your new home, will also help you sell it later.
- Parking is a must. Even if you don’t have a car, you can rent out the space and make some extra income. If you do have a car, parking is even more essential. Also check into guest parking which could become a frustration for visitors if there isn’t any. Parking and available guest parking will improve your experience and your ability to resell the condo.
- Think about storage. Condos are smaller than houses and can be limited in storage. Check out the condo for closets and extra storage, and make sure you have room to fit your belongings.
- Smell the common areas. Take a walk around the common areas, including the hallways. If your potential neighbor cooks spicy food frequently, you’ll have to decide if that will ultimately bother you. Make sure everything is clean and well cared for.
- Talk to the neighbors. Ask around to find out what your neighbors think of the building. They will know if there are problems that may keep you from buying. Also determine if others in the building are renters or owners. It is preferable to be around other owners.
- Visit twice. Don’t make an offer after the first visit. Go back and make sure the condo has what you want. This will prevent an impulse buy that you may regret later.
- Compare price. Find out what other units in the same building sold for. This will help you gauge what is a realistic purchase price. Your realtor should be able to help you learn what other units have sold for.
- Make offer conditional. Have any offer you make conditional on your lawyer reviewing the Condominium Documents and Status Certificates. This document provides essential information about the condo, its by-laws, fees, rules and any lawsuits. You don’t want to be locked in if there are any surprises in the document that you didn’t know about.
Boston is a thriving area, and it is a great time to buy a condo. Follow these tips and you will find the condo that is just right for you. Enjoy your search!