If you found a condo that piques your interest, how would you actually know that it’s a good place to live? Easy: ask your real estate agent! Being able to ask questions from someone with the right knowledge is always a smart move.
Here are 7 questions you should ask your agent about condos in Hamilton.
1. What do People Commonly Complain About?
The problems that residents commonly face in their Hamilton condos will gradually make their way to you. Depending on your preferences, some of these problems could either make or break the deal for you.
Ask your real estate agent to get a copy of the minutes from the last few condo meetings. This will not only reveal common gripes people have with their condos but it will also give you an idea of how competent the association is when it comes to troubleshooting problems.
2. What are the Boundaries of My Unit?
Hamilton condos come with an extra set of peculiarities when it comes to unit boundaries. Make sure you know exactly where your boundaries lie. This will depend from condo to condo. In some cases, the boundaries include the interior areas, and in others, they also include the exterior walls and rooftops.
Some units may also include the plumbing behind the drywall. This question will let you know whether you’ll need to take care of things like window cleaning and exterior décor.
3. What Clauses do You Include to Protect the Buyer When Drafting Purchase Offers?
A real estate agent who specializes in Hamilton condos should know what to include in protective clauses that are unique to condo buying. In certain jurisdictions that offer this service, you may want to get in touch with a provincial condo review specialist to review the documents.
4. What are the Fees and Charges I Should Know About?
As a general rule of thumb, if you deal with a vendor’s agent, you won’t be charged for the transaction because the agent receives a commission. Condo fees are usually based on the number of units available, costs of maintaining the property, whether it is self-managed or professionally managed, and funds allocated towards repairs.
It is important to learn about the breakdown of your monthly dues that you will be have to pay. Make sure you are absolutely certain that you can afford the bill, and that the payment is justified in terms of the features you’re getting.
It is worth your while to take a look at repair funds. Most condo associations will set aside a certain amount of their funds for major repairs. As a general rule of thumb, new condos in Hamilton under 10 years old should allocate 10% of their cost to the repair fund.
If the community is between 10 to 20 years old, the repair fund should have 25% funds on hand for serious repairs. Conds that are 20 years older should allocate 50% of their funds to major repairs.
5. What is the Association Like?
If your real estate agent really knows their craft, they should have a fairly good idea about the condo’s management tea. If the manager is lousy, they will make for a terrible living experience. Some Hamilton condos don’t have property managers and manage themselves. This is when the residents meet to make decisions together.
This is good because this often means lower monthly fees than professionally managed communities. Although self-management is a good solution, you should carefully weigh the pros and cons of moving into a community like this. Do you really want the people living next door to also manage the condo? Some people may not be too comfortable with this idea.
6. How Much Storage Space Does the Condo Offer?
Not all condos will offer extra storage space for items such as bikes, luggage, and extra stuff that is just lying around the house. Some condos do offer personal storage space, others likely won’t have an attic or garage. If you’re a compulsive hoarder with lots of items and trinkets lying around, you will quickly run out of storage space in your house.
Make sure to get a detailed breakdown about condo storage space from your real estate agent.
7. Are There any Important Rules I Should Know About?
This is an important one. If you’ve got pets, you’ll want to know whether the condo allows them. Many new condos in Hamilton don’t have pet-friendly policies. Make sure you know this before buying or renting out the unit.
Some Hamilton condos have special rules that prohibit rentals. Others have rules pertaining to landscaping and gardening.
Ask your real estate agent to go over the community rules thoroughly. Don’t buy a condo if it’s got rules that you can’t live with.
If you feel that something is off, if the agent or condo rubbed you off the wrong way, or if you get the general sense that you don’t know the complete inside story about the condo, don’t be afraid to look for a different place.
Don’t be afraid to ask the right questions because this is your condo buying journey. It’s your prerogative to decide if the place is in line with your expectations.