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
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.