Condo Boards: Learn Before You Buy

If you were buying a new house in the suburbs, you might expect to be dealing with an HOA. But did you know that buying in the city often means you’ll have something similar?

Most condos have condo associations, often called “community associations” or “condo boards.” They dictate how the property is cared for, what updates you can make to it, and what maintenance and repair tasks you’ll be responsible for. How can you be sure that your unit’s condo board is in line with your needs? Ask these five questions before buying:

How does it work? Every condo association is different, so find out how yours works. Learn whether board members are voted in and how decisions are made.

How much does it cost? You should know whether you pay an annual or monthly fee to be a part of your condo association, as well as how much it costs.

What areas does it govern? The association likely rules over the building and shared spaces. But you’ll want to know if it can influence your unit as well.

What policies and rules are there? This one is important. Find out if there are pet restrictions, rules about guests and noise, or regulations on exterior paint and decor.

Who’s responsible for repairs? When a maintenance issue comes up, you don’t want to be scrambling to find out if you or the association is paying for it.

If you do have to foot the bill for an emergency repair, find out how you can recoup your funds. And don’t be surprised if you’re responsible for emergency repairs of shared spaces.

Make sure you’re aware of all of a condo association’s rules and policies — as well as any penalties for breaking those rules — before buying.

Want help finding a condo that meets all of your needs? Get in touch today.

Nicole Kasten

Licensed Broker Associate