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Questions About Moving Into A Condo

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When buying a condo, there are many questions, and I am finding that each condominium has its own rules. I just tried to make a list, and there are so many things.

 

-What does the monthly condo fees include?  

Utilities, gas, heat, electric, water, trash, recycling, snow removal areas, pool, cable, parking space(s) for owner and guests?

 

-Is there a fee for parking?  Assigned spaces, handicapped spaces? Is the garage space(s) deeded, and if so, how much are the taxes?

 

-Is there a community room/party room?  Fee? Chair and table set up available? How is it scheduled? How is guest parking handled?

 

 

-Guest room for out of town company and who supplies linens?

 

- How are the monthly fees paid?

 

-Is tipping expected of a doorman, desk, and maintenance personnel?  

 

 

-Elevators need a schedule for moving. What days/times are moving permitted?

 

 

-What are your contractor rules? Hours? Weekends? Holidays?

 

-Does the building have assigned storage?   Find out where and make sure it is empty, and you have the access key or combo. 

 

 

-What do you do with the empty moving boxes? 

-Are pets allowed, and if so, what restrictions? Rules for ESA, emotional support animals?

 

- How are the monthly fees paid? 

 Are there coupons, a drop-in box, or a mailing address? Is there an automatic payment withdrawal?

 

 

-Is there laundry in the unit? Is there also a shared laundry room in the building?

 

-Is maintenance included? Heating and AC filters, convectors? Some buildings do this service or have a warranty company.

 

-Where is the HVAC located, some units are on the roof. Is yours marked?  Some it is the sole responsibility of the owner.

 

 

-Does the condo have the right of first refusal?

 

-Heat and Air controls, is it central, or do you have your separate control depending on the season?

 

-Who is responsible for water heaters? What if there is a leak from above?

 

-Who do you contact for emergency repairs?

-Who is responsible for replacing and cleaning windows, screens, and sliding glass doors?

 

-Balconies, what are the rules?

Can you paint, carpet, plant window boxes, or have hanging plants?

 

 

-Is renting allowed? 

 

-Where do you get keys, fobs and garage openers?

Can you change your locks?

Who has access to your condo?

 

-How is mail delivered, and are you notified when it arrives?

-How are you informed if you have a visitor or a package?

 

 

We have many different condos in Baltimore, and each one is different. There are condo rules and regulations, and it is a good idea to be familiar with them.

 

Suggestion: Ask for a meeting with the building maintenance manager before you move.

Ask for a meeting with the board president or member to get your questions answered.

 

Would you like more information on a Baltimore Condo Home?

Call Margaret Rome

 

 

Margaret Rome

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Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Broker-Owner HomeRome Realty 

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Author of Real Estate the Rome Way

mrome@HomeRome.com

410.530.2400

 

 
Comment balloon 15 commentsMargaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland • October 27 2019 03:51AM

Comments

Morning Margaret.

In our MLS there are only 35 condos for a five county area.  Thankfully, no one I've represented has asked to purchase one.  

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) 25 days ago

Good mornng, Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland condos are a popular entity, especially for first time home buyers who cannot afford a single family home....but they must be mindful of securing the services of a well-versed buyers agent to represent them.... the emphasis is on "well-versed"... every community has different rules.... 

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) 25 days ago

Good morning Margaret. Many of your questions are not answered until the deed passes and then the surprises come. Buyers need expert guidance, like yours! Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) 25 days ago

 

Good morning James Dray I wonder how many other RE agents on AR have never sold a condo?

Posted by Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 25 days ago

Barbara Todaro In other cities, it is the younger people buying these properties. Here in Baltimore, it is usually the empty nesters and classic clients who are "right-sizing" from the family home. Would love to see more FTHB in this market. Many times the condo fees are more than they can handle.

Posted by Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 25 days ago

Wayne Martin True! So many of these questions are coming when I list a condo and they say no one told me about that rule years ago when I purchased? Make sure you know the questions to ask.

Posted by Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 25 days ago

Hi Margaret,
Yes, there are lots of questions and many buyers don't know to ask them. That's why, as Barbara Todaro mentioned, it's important to have an agent that is experienced in condo sales... not just residential in general.

Happy Sunday, Margaret.  You're probably on the radio as I write this.

Posted by Carol Williams, Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager (Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals.) 25 days ago

Hello Margaret - questions in real estate are plentiful and for condos, it seems there are even more.  In the Baltimore area, your local expertise will be most helpful for buyers.  And sellers too as understanding the process is quite important for a successful sale.  

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 25 days ago

So much to consider. Condos can bite back if one doesn't do plenty of due diligence.  How often has the COA raised dues ( historically) and are there any pending repairs on the horizon? They may not have them yet, but depending upon the age of the complex, without plenty of reserves, expect special assessments.  We bought a condo for rental purposes and ended up paying 8K to get water pipes replaced...then we sold it. lol.

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) 25 days ago

Carol Williams Just finished my radio show and used this blog. Had four callers and was not able to get through all the questions. That, to me, is a successful show! 

Always so good to see you!

 

Posted by Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 25 days ago

Michael Jacobs So many condos, so many differences. Not only do we have to answer the questions from buyers but also from the agents who are not familiar with the buildings...and may be giving our incorrect information.

Posted by Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 25 days ago

Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD  One more. Are there any pending lawsuits?

You have mentioned another important one:

'How often has the COA raised dues ( historically) and are there any pending repairs on the horizon? They may not have them yet, but depending upon the age of the complex, without plenty of reserves, expect special assessments.  "

 

Posted by Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 25 days ago

I also think it is important for potential condo buyers to check any HOA regulations to see if they are compatible.  Also, make certain there isn't any active litigation against the HOA.  That can affect HOA dues in the future, among other things!

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) 25 days ago

CONGRATULATIONS Margaret, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Club group!  

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) 25 days ago

Myrl Jeffcoat Yes, make sure there is no pending litigation. Some of our complexes have both condo and HOA rules. 

Thanks for the honor of a feature in OFC!

Posted by Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 25 days ago

Participate