As home prices continue to rise, many homebuyers are considering condos or townhomes because they’re less expensive to buy. The good news: Myrtle Beach has a huge selection of condominiums to choose from and many offer an added benefit–gorgeous views of the Atlantic Ocean!
Buying a condo can be a great alternative to buying a house. However, the decision to purchase a condo is just as complex as it is with a house. PLUS–there’s a few additional things to consider.
Don’t worry; we’re here to help you sort it all out.
We’ve already discussed the Pros & Cons of HOAs (Home Owner Associations), but homebuyers often forget to consider them before purchasing a condo.
While it’s definitely important to consider the cost of a monthly assessment fee (fees in Myrtle Beach range from $200 to $550 a month), it’s more important to determine the return investment on your money. For example, one HOA might offer the lowest fee but neglect to properly collect fees from members. That poses a huge problem when expensive repairs are needed because it could end up costing you more money in the long run.
Find out how delinquent dues are handled. Look through financial documents for upcoming assessments and the current amount held in reserve. Is it enough to cover the cost of upcoming repairs?
It’s also a good idea to call the property manager for additional information about the services offered and the property’s current financial situation. The more you ask, the better.
In addition, thoroughly read and consider the HOA rules and regulations or covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&R’s). Rules can dictate anything from what you can place on the balcony or hang on the front door to what types of pets are allowed on the property, if any.
You need to know if there’s anything listed in the covenant that you can’t live with or can’t live without.
It’s often difficult to find public information about the property management of a specific complex. The best way to determine the overall happiness of residents is to ask for a copy of the minutes from the last board meeting. Reading over the meeting minutes will provide a general idea of any issues neighbors may be arguing about, the types of repairs coming up, and the amount of money being spent.
Also–if you get an opportunity to meet a current resident, ask them any questions you may have about the property.
It’s important to remember that living in a condo or townhouse is much different than living in a single-family home. These differences include shared walls, added noise, and close interaction with neighbors. Are you prepared to live with these changes?
Questions to Consider:
What is the parking situation? Are spots reserved? Where are visitors required to park?
Are there quiet hours?
Are homeowners allowed to offer their unit as a vacation rental? Are homeowners allowed to lease their unit to short-term or long-term tenants?
What percentage of units are occupied by owners? *The higher the percentage, the more marketable the property should be at resale.
How much turnover occurs in the building? *This should tell you how happy owners are with the property. The average stay in a two-to-four unit building is five years and the average stay in a building with 5+ units is four years.
Is the building currently involved in litigation? *This is a bad sign. Attorney and court fees will eat away at the reserve and likely drive up assessment fees.
How much (and how often) have fees been raised in the past?
What amenities and maintenance is included in the assessment fee?
Does the monthly assessment fee include the cost of insurance on the building?
What special quarterly or annual fees have been mandated in the last five to ten years? How much was each owner required to pay?