What to Look for When Buying a Condo

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Whether you are looking for your first steps onto the property market or looking to move into a city center, a condo might be the perfect place for you. They often come without the stresses and strains of family homes or larger houses. Additionally, you often get the benefit of shared conveniences and the ability to contact the local condo association to take care of any outstanding maintenance. However, this life is not for everyone and it is worth thinking about what you are looking for. Ultimately you are still buying a property and need to be happy with it. This article will give you some things to think about before committing to a condo.

What is a condo?

Condo is derived from the word condominium. It is used to refer to a building in which individual units are owned privately but the common areas are owned by everyone in the building. In simple terms, it means that you would own the apartment that you are living in and would contribute to an overall payment for the building and communal areas along with all of the other owners of the separate apartments.

These communal areas can include facilities such as parks, pools, playgrounds, and gyms.

You are responsible for what goes on within your apartment, including any construction, maintenance, and repairs that you need or want. Out of that, your monthly payments to the condo association that looks after your building will ensure that the building is kept in good repair. Condos are much more common in city areas like Halifax. They take up less space and can accommodate more people than a house can. There has been a popular uptake in Halifax condos for sale in recent years.

Do you need a Realtor?

If you have decided that a condo is for you, it will be likely that you need a realtor or real estate agent. A good one can be tricky to find but make sure that you find one with a proven experience and track record in condos and their sales. This will help you go through the condo association documents and break down what you are covered for as well as how much you would owe each month. There would be nothing worse than paying an extortionate fee and not be getting the worth of your money.

buying a condo

Equally, it is worth finding an agent that is versed in condo developments in your area. Community finance issues and infrastructure within the building or local area can cause you lengthy problems that are easy to avoid. Also, if they know the area they will be able to guide you not only in price and market value but point out the positives and negatives of the local area.

FHA approval

Condos are a great option for first-time buyers as they are often much cheaper than any other type of property. However, not all condos will be approved for a mortgage. This is because condo associations may believe that you are more likely to default or be unable to upkeep the payments. It is always worth checking that your condo is FHA (Federal Housing Association) approved to avoid any issues like this.

The Condo Association/property management company

It is well worth researching the company that will be responsible for maintaining the building that you buy your condo in. It can be immensely frustrating to look after your condo, making it as you want it and fulfilling all of your design dreams for it to be surrounded by a crumbling edifice. As well as this, you will be paying for the upkeep, so it is worth having a good reliable company in charge of the building you buy from.

It may sound picky but ultimately the building that you buy into can both raise and lower the resale value of your property. If it is a well-maintained building with decent amenities, not only will it attract more clientele to sell to but also drive the price of your condo up. Sadly, the reverse happens with a poorly maintained building as well. Ask about the company when viewing your condo then search online as well as asking your real estate agent to see if the company is reputable or not.


One of the main draws to condo life is the vast number of amenities that can be on offer to you as a resident. This can range from such a wide variety of things like pools and gyms to free printing and dry-cleaning services. All of which if they are offered at a reasonable price are great assets to have. However, these luxuries often come at a cost. You need to decide if that is something that you are willing to pay and will utilize. It is pointless having lots of different facilities that you never take advantage of because you don’t enjoy them or even worse than they are poorly maintained.

Another consideration to have is that if it sounds too good to be true, it might be. Condo Associations often reserve the right to change and withdraw amenities that are costing them too much money or that aren’t making them any more money. Certain extravagances may get cut if they are underutilized or not well funded enough. Don’t make your decision solely on the amenities available at the time of your visit.

Your Lifestyle

A final consideration you should take is to ask yourself if the condo lifestyle is for you? If you are against building maintenance or lack the funds to fully upkeep a house, then a condo might be for you. But if you wanted a large backyard with space to make your own and invite your friends around or dislike hearing your neighbors, condo life may be a nightmare. You need to weigh up all of the pros and cons of condo living to see if it is for you.

Buying a Condo

Buying your first property is exciting but be careful not to get swept up in it all. Carefully consider all of the implications of living in a condo and research as much as you can to see if this is where you want to live.

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