What Questions Should You Be Asking?
Buying a condo in Bozeman or Belgrade can be an affordable way to enter this market. Before you start shopping, there are some key questions to ask yourself, your Buyer's Agent, and your lender to guide you in the process.
QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE BUYING A CONDO:
HOA ASSOCIATION QUESTIONS:
- Does the HOA allow short term rentals (Airbnb, VRBO) and / or long term rental? (Refer to the covenants, confirmation from Association and/or City of Bozeman Ordinances and what zoning area the unit is in)
- What are the HOA and Condo Association dues (by month, quarter, year)?
- What is included in your HOA/Condo fees?
- Do you know who the HOA contact(s) are? Is it a Property Management Company?
- Does the HOA association have a reserve account? If so, how much is in the reserve account?
- Are there special assessments coming up? What will it cover?
CONDO AMENITIES / MISC QUESTIONS:
- Are dogs allowed? Are there pet restrictions?
- What is the current owner / tenant occupancy ratio?
- What does your external insurance cover on the structure? Is it a studs out policy?
- Will the Association allow you to fence off potential yard space (if any yard space)?
- Do you know anything about the noise level in the complex?
- Is there elevator access?
- If the condo is a "detached condo", is the green space around the unit maintained by the homeowner or the HOA / Condo Association?
- If you have been occupying the property and then want to rent it out, can you? (Many factors involved with this including Association approval, covenant restrictions, and possible City zoning / ordinance to comply to).
- Does your lender require the owner / tenant occupancy ratio to be under a certain %?
- What is the minimum downpayment you need?
- What is the interest rate for an investment property?
- What type of financing is allowed at that particular condo unit?
For example, some lenders have very tight requirements that need to be met on the condominium. Some lenders will require a Condo Questionnaire to be filled out by an HOA contact.
What I Do Know - Every complex and Association operates a little differently than the next. Some Associations do not have reserve accounts. Some Associations are smaller in size (few units vs. 25-50 units) and thus the smaller associations will have greater flexibility for the homeowner. Be sure you know what lies ahead for potential Special Assessments on the complex.
In past sales, I have seen Associations state that exterior repairs / maintenance on the building is the homeowner's responsibility. This is more uncommon for a homeowner to be financially responsible for those maintenance items and critical information to know BEFORE you purchase the condo. Do your research on the Association and ASK QUESTIONS! Exterior maintenance will be an added future expense if you as the homeowner had to be responsible to repair the roof or siding out of pocket.
I deem these important to mention that these nuances do happen.
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There are clearly more questions to ask BEFORE you put an offer in on a condo. If you need assistance or have questions about a specific condo unit, please contact me:
Call / Text: (925) 785-2596
Condos For Sale in Bozeman
Condos in Bozeman