With so many downtown Seattle condos for sale, now is a great time to buy. However, if you’re a first time condo buyer, don’t fall into the trap of making common mistakes such as:
Not educating yourself. Condos have their own lingo: CCR, special assessment, levy, reserve fund, points. If you’re not familiar with these terms, you won’t have any idea what you’re getting into until it’s too late.
Not checking the insurance policy. It’s important to know whether or not your building has adequate insurance coverage and also whether or not that coverage is financed or paid in full. If disaster should strike and your condo isn’t covered, you’ll be paying out of pocket for repairs.
Not finding out how many units are owner-occupied. If a higher percentage of units in a building are investor-owned rather than owner-occupied, your lender may not approve your loan, or if it is approved, your interest rates could be much higher.
Not buying waterfront or water-view. If it’s available and within your budget, buy a waterfront or water-view unit. Waterfront units appreciate better and are easier to sell.
Not thinking long term. Speaking of selling, when you’re buying a condo, it’s easy to completely forget about the possibility of selling it. However, it’s important to take the long view and think about your condo as an investment. Is the unit you’re buying one that will retain or increase its value over time? If not, you could be looking at a major financial loss down the line.
Making an offer on the asking price. Instead, you should be making an offer on the market value. Because of this, having the help of an expert realtor familiar with the local market is a must.
Avoid these common mistakes and you’ll be much happier with your condo long term.