Although a condo and a townhome aren’t exactly the same, they do have more in common with each other than either has with a single family home. So whether you’re purchasing a condo or a townhome, there are certain things you need to carefully consider before laying down your money. And among these things are some major hidden risks that could cost you a bundle in the long run. Here, then, are the things to watch out for when purchasing a condo or townhome in Los Angeles.
Whether purchasing a condo or townhome in Los Angeles, you will have to pay HOA and other fees. These fees should be calculated as a component of the purchase price, but you do need to make sure they are justified and aren’t going to put the condo or townhome beyond your financial reach. Just factor these fees into you preparatory financial calculations to ensure that you don’t wind up buying more home than you can actually afford.
One thing you definitely want to watch out for when purchasing a condo or townhome in Los Angeles is exactly what the HOA insurance covers. So make sure to get a copy of the association’s insurance policy and review it carefully and thoroughly. You don’t want to purchase a condo or townhome and then find out that the coverage in case of fire or natural disaster is too low or outdated. You also need to find out whether the policy covers your personal belongings if the roof leaks or there is a building fire.
In addition, you need to find out early on what the HOA is like. The personality of the board can be a huge factor in whether you will or will not enjoy your living experience. The first step, then, is to review the HOA’s rules, regulations, and bylaws, as well as asking for and reviewing a copy of the minutes of the last meeting or two. If you find anything that makes you uncomfortable, you may want to reconsider purchasing that condo or townhome.
You also need to know how repairs are handled. Associations generally have insurance policies in place to cover some repairs along with a reserve fund for major projects like swimming pool repair and parking lot resurfacing. But just because there is some funding to handle these repairs and projects, that doesn’t necessarily mean there will be sufficient funding or that they will be handled well or taken care of in a timely fashion. So that’s what you need to determine. Do research before purchasing so that you don’t wind up paying a portion for these repairs out of your pocket.
One thing you’ll definitely want to watch out for when purchasing a condo or townhome in Los Angeles it what the other residents are like. Do their lifestyles mesh well with yours? If, for example, you’re an early riser, you wouldn’t want to live next door to someone, with only a wall between, who stays up till all hours playing loud music.
Another thing to watch out for is the delinquency rate, which is the percentage of residents who pay their HOA fees late. This matters because most banks won’t approve mortgages where the delinquency rate is high. In this case, you may not be able to get financing. And if you do get financing and ever want to sell, that high delinquency rate may make it extremely difficult.
These, of course, are only the main things to watch out for when purchasing a condo or townhome in Los Angeles. There are others that may be even more critical depending on your particular financial situation and lifestyle. Your local real estate agent can help you with the necessary research to help you avoid a costly mistake.