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CONDO'S

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Are you ready to invest in your dream condo in the Sunshine State?

These gleaming cities in the sky offer amenities that are beyond words.

Such as movie theaters, sauna, grocery stores, tennis, Concierge service and that's just for starters. But buying one can be bring it own headaches.

Lets talk about it.

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Unlock the Secrets: What all Florida condo buyers need to know

Here is your guide to ensure you get all the right tools and knowledge you need to make the best decision before buying. In addition, we will also look into the possible drawbacks.

If you have been daydreaming of owning a condo in Florida, especially those located near the beach, then make sure you thoroughly do your research first. It is important to know that condo ownership can offer plenty of benefits depending on your needs and preferences.

Discover what you need to consider when buying a condo in Florida;

including condos situated inland and the availability of Florida condos for sale near the ocean! 

 

It's the perfect compromise between renting and owning. COA's ( Condo associations )cover many of the everyday maintenance tasks, such as landscaping services and building maintenance. You also get access to certain amenities, such as clubhouses, pools, private gym equipment, and more.

However, just like every city has its own personality, so do communities and condo communities are no different. In order to help you find the perfect fit, we've put together a special guide. These tips will help you analyze your choices and feel confident in your purchase.

1. Credit Scores, Down Payments and Fee's

Credit scores have become very important when considering condos in Florida. Many require a minimum credit score of 650.  With some requiring a 700 score or better. Along with those scores,  prepare for a substantial down payment in many cases. Some condo associations are more flexible than others, allowing buyers to take out any loan they prefer, as long as the lender approves. Other associations or lenders, however require that buyers put down a minimum percentage of the purchase price – A 20 % down payment is common. In some rare cases, associations may require that buyers put more money down – up to 35 percent – and others do not allow buyers to hold a mortgage at all. These are unusual conditions, but in most cases buyers can expect to purchase a condo in Florida with 20% down. These days, its more the rule than the exception. Some condo's will allow 3.5% down for FHA-approved buildings unless the condo association requires more. For example: Your lender says they can do your home loan for 3.5% down. And, the condo is in an FHA approved building. But, the association may still require you have a 20% down payment because the condo association doesn't have enough money in their reserves. ( See #4 )

 

Finally, some condo's sales require the buyer put up miscellaneous fee's and amounts that can cloud a transaction unless discussed with a buyer up front.  Such as, but not limited to "a membership fee , reserves, or special assessments." American Paradise Properties agents routinely discuss these items and more with our clients.  So... in short ..Prepare for some condo's to be out of reach for one or more of these reasons.

2.CONDO Dues

Condo Associations (COA's) may be a mystery to many home and property owners, yet these entities serve a significant purpose - the regulation of a neighborhood, along with the upkeep and maintenance of all communal amenities. Fundamentally, the expenses of such services are underwritten by association fees, collected from all owners in the area. This in itself can be quite expensive.

Living in a condominium or other building with an association brings obligations - namely, payment of the dues, as well as adhering to the bylaws and other regulations in place. In other words, homeowners are expected to meet the standards set forth by the association throughout their time of residence.

  

3. Not All Associations are Run the Same

No, not all HOA's are run the same. Each association is unique and has its own set of rules and regulations. Some HOA's may be more strict than others, while some may be more lenient. It is important to research the association before purchasing a home in a community to make sure it is the right fit for you. You never want to find this out after your purchase, so do your due diligence prior to making an offer.

4. A Condo associations Budget and Reserve Can Tell You a Lot

Speaking of research, you'll want to look at more than just the condo association's rules and regulations. The health of a community can be assessed by looking at the association's budget, reserve fund, and how many residents are delinquent on their dues.

If you notice warning signs such as a high delinquency rate, outstanding debts, or a low fund, be wary. These are often indicators of poor association management. And, if you are purchasing, it may be grounds for your loan to be denied. 

5. Condos Make Affordable Alternatives to Single-Family Homes

The good thing about condos is even with their condo association, many are more affordable than single-family homes. This is especially true in densely populated areas where land is an expensive commodity.

Many condo buyers like that they can get more space for their buck. A mortgage on a three-bedroom condo is likely to be significantly less than a three-bedroom home.

6. It's Can be Cheaper to Insure a Condo Than a Home, But Not Always

On top of your mortgage savings, you can also expect cheaper insurance rates. Because condo associations cover the exterior maintenance of homes within their community, condo owners only have to cover the interior of their home.

Land, the building's exterior, and all shared amenities are included in your condo association fee. Thus you'll simply need a bit of dwelling coverage, liability coverage, and coverage for personal property damage. 

But wait.... While it can be cheaper, sometimes its not. Across South Florida, surging insurance costs and a dwindling number of insurers writing policies in the state could result in condo owners selling their units at discounts — with vulture investors and developers ready to pounce, experts say. The costs are also leading buyers to back out of contracts. Developers have already capitalized on a handful of aging waterfront properties from Miami to West Palm Beach since the 2021 Condo Collapse tragedy.  American Paradise Properties Agents routinely check "40 year certifications and ALL available current special assessments" before making an offer on condominiums.

 

7. Residents Have to Play By the Rules

Condo associations are at liberty to change and create new rules as they see fit. If you buy a condo, but a new rule arises that you don't agree with, you still have to abide by it.

This is one of the more sobering realities of condo life. However, keep in mind they aren't an all-powerful entity. Your community has a voice.

If for some reason an unreasonable rule is brought to your community's attention, you can address it as a unified group. It's part of the checks and balances of these organizations.

After all, you are the source of its budget.

8. Condos Come with Multiple Conveniences

One of the most popular aspects of condo living is the additional facilities and offerings provided through the H association. Buyers love having access to shared amenities, such as:

  • Pools

  • Clubhouses

  • Playgrounds

  • Gyms

  • Tennis Courts

  • Trash Pickup

  • Landscaping

  • Cable

  • Pet friendly play areas

  • And More

As you're looking at different condos, ask what amenities come with the community. There is no requirement and the features can vary from one location to the next.

9. You Can Be a Part of the Association

The great aspect of the condo association is its community involvement. As a condo owner, you can participate in meetings. These meetings cover decisions made within the collective community.

In fact, members of the condo association are residents of your community. This means they're more likely to be invested in making it a good place to live.

If you buy a condo, consider being a part of the association that runs it. It's a great way to meet other members of the community while feeling a sense of involvement in how your community is run. The flip side is they all know you voted for that latest dues increase.. I am just saying. 

10. Beach Condos Pros and Cons

The pros and cons of owning a beach condo or house must be taken into account before making a decision. Firstly, owning a beach condo or house can be profitable; however, one must bear in mind that income will likely fluctuate based on location and time of year. Furthermore, you can use your beach rental as a holiday home, though you should be aware of insurance costs. Additionally, marketing the property will be simple; however, upkeep costs and taxes may become burdensome. Finally, the location of the beach house or condo is a major factor to consider. And dont forget... You cannot control the weather. This is especially important during Hurricane season.

11. Look Beyond the Mortgage to See What You Can Afford

There are several fees to consider when buying a condo. Beyond your monthly mortgage rate, you also have to keep in mind Condo Association Fees, insurance (often much less than a house), property taxes (also much less than a house) and the estimated cost for your utilities.

Before you make an offer, crunch all the numbers. This will help ensure that your investment fits your budget without eating into the lifestyle you enjoy.

Ok... If you have read this far why not take the first step to simplified living in the sunshine state. Contact anyone of our team members and lets get started.

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