The Questions you Must Ask Before Buying a Condominium in Southwest Florida

A condo in Naples, FL

>Condominiums in Naples are a fantastic option for many different groups of people. First-time buyers can generally get a lot for their money. Retirees can enjoy a virtually maintenance free life. And, everyone will enjoy the amenities condo communities provide.

There are certainly questions you should ask your Realtor® before you sign the offer. The answers to these questions can vary wildly between different neighborhoods so always seek out the official documents for the condo before you buy.

What is the rental policy? Can the condo unit be rented?

You’re planning to be a full-time resident so what do you care? Well, you may care when you move if you want to keep the condo and rent it yourself. Or, if the rental policy is too restrictive, investors will not want the unit so your pool of potential buyers shrinks. Finally, you may have trouble getting a mortgage to buy the condo if the ratio of renters to owners is too high. Your experienced Realtor® (like ourselves) can certainly help with this question and provide sound advice.

What is the pet policy?

The most common policy for condominiums in Naples is to allow small pets. There is generally a limit on how many you can own (usually two) and a limit on their weight (often around the 35lb mark).

What about renters? It is becoming more and more common for condos in Naples to allow owners to have pets but disallow pets for renters. There’s a belief that renters will not pick up after their pups so a limit on who can own pets is put into place.

What are the rules regarding renovations?

It’s all too common for our team to show a potential buyer a condo and the renovation wheels get turning. One of the most common renovations is to replace the flooring with wood or tile. Sounds like a simple change yet if you’re in a condo you’ll have rules to follow. Most of the time, condos on the second floor or greater will require cork to be put down first which can add to the cost. Do you want to remove a wall and open up the floor plan? That sounds great but make sure you’re allowed to do so before purchasing the unit.

What is included in my condo fees?

Condo fees (similar to an HOA fee) are the assessments you pay, usually quarterly, to own in the development. The fees vary wildly from one condo community to the next. Some will offer cable television and internet access while others may not include either. Some condos even include your water! Be sure you know what is covered because this will certainly affect your monthly budget.

Is there anything included with the condo unit?

Parking spaces, car port spaces, garages and storage units are commonly sold along with the condo. Your Realtor® will be able to show you what is included when you tour the unit.

What amenities does the development have?

One of the best features of living in a condo is that there are often amenities in the neighborhood for you to enjoy. Swimming pool, tennis courts, bocce ball, putting greens and more are common amenities for Naples condominiums. Definitely check out the amenities while you tour the units.

Are there any special assessments coming up?

When you own a condo unit in Naples, you also own a fractional share of everything else. So, who pays for the road to be paved? Who is paying for painting the exteriors of the buildings? You are! Part of your condo fees each month will go toward these items. But, what if there isn’t enough money for something to be fixed or upgraded? This is where the Board of Directors will vote on a special assessment. A special assessment is just a bill for something that needs to be done. You will want to be sure the condo complex does not have any special assessments coming up. If they do, a skilled Realtor® will modify the contract so that the seller has to pay off the special assessments in full.

Did I miss anything?

Whew, so that’s that with buying a condo! Did I miss a question you may have? Leave a comment below or feel free to contact us to have your question answered.”

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