Buying a condo for sale in Austin, TX is different from purchasing a traditional single family home in a number of ways. There are the obvious differences – buying a condo means you are buying into a group of housing units where you own the space between your four walls and share common areas, while buying a home means normally you buy the plot of land along with the house. The upkeep around your condominium unit is in large part left to the condo management company or HOA, and a condo board that is comprised of unit owners makes decisions about the building together.
There are details you will want to know about the Austin condo you hope to buy, not only for your own knowledge, but your mortgage lender will also inquire about a number of things. Here are five of the most important facts you’ll need prior to financing your condo.
There are condo fees associated with Austin condominiums for sale. Those fees include the upkeep of the common areas – repairs to fitness center equipment, swimming pool maintenance, security camera upgrades – as well as major repairs or changes the board chooses to make to the building. Often the condo board will set a certain percentage of condo fees back each month into a general fund. That fund covers major expenses like a new roof on the entire building, painting of the building, or repairs in the event of a major storm. Your mortgage lender will need to know how much the monthly condo fees are as the fees are calculated into your mortgage qualifying ratios.
While condos for sale in Austin don’t often have age restrictions, it is important to ask about complex regulations concerning the age of residents. Some communities are specifically designed for those 55 years and older. Even if the condominium board makes an exception to the age specification, there are often fewer mortgage options for condos with age restrictions.
A potential challenge you’re unlikely to run into when obtaining a mortgage for a home is the square footage of the dwelling. Some lenders do have minimum square footage requirements when it comes to financing condominiums. Be sure to ask the mortgage broker about any potential issues when it comes to the size of your unit.
There are two reasons you’ll want to ask the condo board about renting regulations. Firstly, if you’re going to live in the condo you buy, you’ll want to know what percentage of your neighboring condos are owner occupied. Some lenders show concern for condominium buildings that have a high renter population. Secondly, if you plan to rent your Austin condo at some point, you’ll want to know the renting rules.
Condominium Board Documents
Requesting the minutes from recent condo board meetings is one of the most important steps you can take in ensuring you’re choosing a top Austin condo building. Reviewing the notes from those meetings will let you know what owners are complaining about, what changes the board plans to make, and the financial health of the condo building. Your mortgage lender may want to see or recommend you peruse:
- Meeting Minutes
- Condo by-laws
- Budget records for condo building
Purchasing a condo is an exciting, nervous process, and it’s natural to have questions. When you’re ready to buy a new, trendy condo in Austin, be sure to partner with a professional real estate agent and lawyer who will help walk you through the steps to home ownership.