Buying a home or vacation rental: reviewing your condo documents


When buying a condo you will want to review and approve (or disapprove) the condominium documents. These documents generally include the Declarations and Bylaws, the Rules and Regulations, the current year budget, and more. If you’re buying a single family home or a multi-unit building, this step won’t apply to you.

When you're buying a condo, you’re not just buying your particular unit, but you’re also buying into the building. You'll what to consider if the building is stable, is the HOA healthy financially speaking? Are there potential problems, with upcoming maintenance issues? Are there delinquent condo owners who aren’t paying their HOA fees, etc.

It’s also important to learn about the building’s rules such as:

  1. Are there pet restrictions (number of pets, breeds, weights, etc.)?

  2. Are you allowed to have air conditioning?

  3. Are there parking restrictions?

  4. Can you lease or vacation rent your unit and, if so, for how long?

  5. What is the occupancy ratio for renters, vacation rentals and owners? If financing is required, it is more challenging to find lenders that will provide financing for high renters and vacation rentals percentages.

  6. What other restrictions apply to your unit?

Read each condo document thoroughly. Write down any questions or issues you’d like to know more about or would like further clarification or further documentation.

Do read the meeting minutes as this is often where you’ll learn what’s really going on in the building and any future plans for big ticket repairs.

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