Condo Cheat Sheet for the City Woman

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I totally didn't even think of some of these. Great tips for me and all the single ladies.

A condo is often the perfect solution for an independent woman looking to live within a lively, urban environment. Less pricey than a house, there are also the added benefits that come with the managed maintenance of a multiple occupancy building. You may even get the added security of a doorman.

Whatever the reason for your move, it is wise to set yourself a list of basic ‘needs’ and ‘wants,’ and revisit them at frequent intervals. For example, is it close enough to your work? Or the gym? Is it quiet enough, or do you prefer a place with a ‘buzz’? Here are a few tips that might prove useful:

  1. Before making your master list, meet with a reputable financial consultant who specializes in the purchase or rental of condos. He or she will be able to advise you of what you can realistically afford, plus make you aware of all the extra costs involved, such as legal fees, registration fees and maintenance costs. There is no point in setting your heart on a condo which (for now!) is way beyond your means.
  2. Enlist the services of a good real estate lawyer. This really is one of the best investments you can make and can mean you avoid a lot of heartache and expense further down the line.
  3. Visit the areas you have been considering at various times of the day: the bohemian feel of a place on a Sunday afternoon may disappear entirely during a weekday rush hour, or perhaps that ‘friendly neighborhood’ may feel like a foreboding place for a woman to be alone after dark.
  4. Visit a variety of properties instead of just browsing online. Even if you can pick and rent a condo in the metro using Zipmatch or view the property through a virtual reality device, eventually you need to see the potential home in person. Something you may have disregarded previously may become appealing to you once you see it in real life; if it’s not for you, you know your instincts were right in the first place.
  5. Does the outside of the building look clean and well-cared for? The better it is, the more likely the other residents are to be caring and conscientious.
  6. Take a trusted friend when you view a property. A more objective perspective is priceless when it comes to looking at something you are already emotionally embroiled with. They are more likely to point out the neighbor’s noisy TV, the view of the local take-away or that ‘funny’ odor in the stairwell.
  7. Talk to your potential neighbors about everything from water pressure to Wi-Fi. They will also be able to let you know how often the elevator is out of action and when the garbage is collected. This valuable information won’t be found on the MLS listing!

Always ask questions! The market is full of jargon, so never feel foolish about asking those involved to clarify something you don’t understand – remember, you are paying their salary.



*This post has been brought to you and contributed by an outside writer.*

3 thoughts on “Condo Cheat Sheet for the City Woman

  1. Emily @ JohnJaneDoe

    Great list! I think it’s also important to check out the management company, too, so you can understand and anticipate the fees and related expenses. If the management company is regularly hitting the residents with extraordinary assessments in addition to a monthly fee, you want to know.

  2. Natalie

    I just bought my first condo last month and love it so far. However, the association fees are pretty high!


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