Finding a condo in Boston is pretty easy, but finding the right one and getting the best deal is another story. The Boston condo market isn’t the easiest for buyers, especially if you plan to go into it without a skilled real estate agent that knows the condo market.
If you’re looking at condos in Boston because homes in Boston are not within your budget, you’re not alone. This is common, as condos tend to be more affordable. However, many buyers seem to think condos come with more fees and red tape. With the right real estate agent in Boston working with you, this doesn’t have to be the case.
Let’s look at a few of the best tips for buying a condo in Boston.
Always Tour in Person
With condos, you’re dealing with a smaller space than a house. It can be difficult to get a true sense of how big or small a condo is, even if you have a 3D walk-through online.
Always visit the Boston condo you’re considering in person before you decide to buy. Do a full walk-through with your agent to ensure you know what you’re getting and all the details of the deal.
Know the Buying Seasons and What to Expect
Just as homes for sale in Boston change with the season, so do condos. During the summer, there tend to be more condos on the market, while the winter brings less. It’s important to know what to expect, no matter the time of year, you plan to shop for a Boston condo.
Condos Come in Many Shapes and Sizes in Boston
Many homebuyers don’t consider condos because they only think of a condo as a unit in a massive building. Condos in Boston come in all shapes and sizes.
You might find the perfect condo in an old warehouse that has been remodeled or in a building that used to be a massive home. Some condo buildings have hundreds of units, while others may have two or three units.
No matter the type of condo you’re looking for in Boston, it’s possible to find it. Whether you want to be in a large condo building with amenities or you, prefer a smaller building. Boston has condos of all shapes and sizes all throughout the city.
Understand, Condos are Not the Same as Single-Family Homes
The one type of property you won’t find when searching for a condo in Boston is a detached unit. This is simply not something that exists as condos by definition are not detached units.
However, you may be able to find a condo or townhouse unit in Boston at the end of a building. This could allow you to only share one wall with a neighbor instead of two. These condos and townhomes tend to come with a bit of a higher price, however.
Fees May be Factored in
Many buyers looking at condos in Boston may be scared of the condo fees. However, this isn’t something to be scared of if you have the right real estate agent working for you.
HOA fees exist in both condos and single-family homes, and they are found on most listings for condos. You will know up-front, what to expect when it comes to these fees, and they can be factored into the deal.
It may be difficult to understand if you’re getting a good deal when it comes to the condo fee. A good real estate agent with knowledge of Boston condos will know whether you’re getting a good deal, based on the fee, or if it’s a deal you should walk away from.
Condos come with fees to ensure the building and grounds are well-kept. The HOA fees help to cover the maintenance, but the HOA for your condo building should also have a reserve fund.
Assessments may be done, and the condo building may need upgrades, which could be scary. Condo owners cannot just pay extra to make this upgrade as most won’t be able to afford it.
HOAs for condos will have a reserve fund for major upgrades. This should be approximately 10% of the annual budget, maybe even more. Your agent will be able to help walk you through this and make sure the condo you choose is within a building with a good reserve fund.
Know the Rules Before You Buy
Each condo association will be a bit different and may have a different set of rules. You should know the CC&R or covenants, conditions, and regulations before you buy.
The rules are usually set up to help protect the value of your condo. Make sure you speak with your real estate agent and understand the CC&R before you decide to buy.
These seven tips, along with the right Boston real estate agent, will make a difference when you decide to buy a condo in Boston. Make sure you hire a good agent, and you understand the things many buyers might find scary when entering the condo market in Boston.