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June 4, 2020

The Best Way To Screen Condos Before Scheduling a Showing

The real estate community is still working within corona limitations when it comes to showing property. Open houses won’t be returning anytime soon. Home-buying is all about qualified, ready-to-write-an-offer buyers who thoroughly screen homes via virtual tours with their agent prior to even thinking about seeing the property in person.

But when it comes to condos, there are two types of potential dealbreakers that you won’t see in a virtual tour. One covers specific personal preferences that spill over into common area details. And the other concerns HOA issues that could affect your loan.

Here’s what your agent should find out before you schedule a showing:
Personal preference dealbreakers. There are some things that are definite nonstarters. At the top of the list: too many stairs to the unit’s front door and no elevator, no in-unit laundry, parking space size or accessibility. Your agent should inquire about whatever your dealbreaker is so you don’t encounter it from behind your mask when you finally get to the property.

HOA issues. There are five key aspects of an HOA that can affect the type of loan you’ll be able to get, as well as how much of a down payment the lender will require:
1. Is there any pending litigation?
2. How many units are owner occupied, and how many are rented?
3. Are there any special assessments coming up?
4. How much money is in the HOA reserve account?
5. If there’s commercial space, what percentage of the building does it occupy?

The answers to these questions will definitely affect your loan. Consult your lender if there’s litigation, too many units rented, a big special assessment that you’ll end up paying, poor HOA reserves or too much commercial space.

Thorough screening is critical these days, especially when you consider all the pre-showing paperwork and safety protocols involved. Checking out all the details will go a long way toward helping you efficiently—and safely—find the right home.

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