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  • Ryan O.

If You're Looking To Buy A Condo


If you want to purchase a condo, here are four things you should look into...

1. Inquire about maintenance fee

When you purchase a home that belongs to a homeowners association, there's usually a monthly maintenance fee. The maintenance fee is used to pay for common area expenses and certain utilities.

When you're checking out a condo, ask your Realtor if he or she can inquire about the maintenance fee. Ideally speaking, you do not want to purchase a condo that's undergoing a special assessment or has a current/pending litigation.

2. Is there a resident manager?

Having an onsite resident manager can be a great amenity. There are numerous condos on Oahu that have onsite resident mangers.

If you're not used to the condo living, some of the resident manager's responsibilities are:

- Ensuring all residents follow the condo house rules

- Running the day-to-day operations of the condo

- General maintenance and repair

- Working with the homeowners association

3. Parking

Anytime you check out a condo, you should always checkout the parking stall. Checking out the parking stall allows you to:

- Verify if the unit's parking stall is full sized

- See how far away the parking stall is to the condo entrance

- Get an idea on general traffic flow of the parking structure

- See the entrance(s) and exist(s) in reference to the streets surrounding the condo

4. Morning sun or afternoon sun?

If you're interested in a specific condo, it's to your best interest to see different units in that building. Condos are designed to have different "stacks." For example, lets say you were looking for a 1-bedroom unit. The "01 stack" 1-bedroom units could have different floor plan that the "08 stack" 1-bedroom units.

In addition, each stack is located at different positions within the condo. Some stacks might get the morning sun. Some stacks might have ocean views. Maybe you prefer a stack on the Ewa side of the condo with mountain views. You don't know until you check out multiple units.

-RO

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Ryan Oda (RB-23073) is a Real Estate Advisor with Forward Realty (RB-19423) in Honolulu, HI.