WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PURCHASING CONDOS FOR SALE IN SOUTH FLORIDA
While browsing condos for sale in South Florida, there are some important facts to take into consideration. Merriam-Webster.com defines a condominium as, “individual ownership of a unit in a multiunit structure (such as an apartment building) or on a land owned in common (such as a townhouse complex).” Most condominiums are multi-unit buildings, townhomes, or villas, connected by a common wall or roof with other units. That being said, a condominium, or condo, is a form of ownership rather than a structural idea. There can be single-family homes, referred to as detached condos, that fall under a condo ownership structure. When buying condos for sale in South Florida, you purchase the deed and pay real estate taxes on the unit, yet the collective of residents share ownership of all the common areas like hallways, the elevator, and amenities. Let’s explore more about condos for sale in Florida, such as financing, association fees, the governing body as a whole, and rules and regulations.
FINANCING CONDOS FOR SALE IN FLORIDA
The first thing to address when looking to buy condos for sale in South Florida, or any home for that matter, is financing. Financing a condo can be a bit more complicated as the stipulations tend to be more strict. If you have questions regarding your search for the perfect condos for sale in Florida, contact us today! We will link you with one of our professionally licensed realtors who specializes specifically in Condos.
First things first, are you able to put an offer in on the condo for sale in Florida? Many associations or elected boards may require more equity in form of a larger down payment, sometimes 20% to 30% or more, in order to protect the common assets of the condominium. If the owner has more equity in a unit, they are less likely to default on their mortgage. Defaulting on a mortgage means the owner will probably miss payments on association dues, which ultimately leads to more financial burdens on the rest of the owners and jeopardizes the building’s budget.
Most condo communities in Florida don’t accept FHA or other government-backed loans. Ask your lender or realtor for a list of communities that allow government-backed loans. You can also search at HUD.gov. Fanie Mae and Freddie Mac recently temporarily tightened requirements for condo lending after the Surfside Condo tragedy. These requirements are a great set of guidelines no matter how you are paying for condos for sale in South Florida. Lenders require a condo questionnaire to examine the budget and see if there has been any legal action against the association. Sometimes, a condo association may only allow cash or conventional loan offers.
Whether there is a lender involved or not, it is pertinent to request a copy of the condo association’s financials. Are their books in order? Is there 10% in reserve funds? Has there been any legal action taken against the association? Have there been frequent special assessments? A special assessment is an added cost to owners on top of monthly dues to cover what the reserve fund cannot, or to build those reserve funds. In order for a special assessment to be invoked, the condo association board generally votes on it. But every Florida condo community is different and has its own specific set of rules and regulations.
While looking through condo communities in Florida here at Real-ativity.com, we provide this hard-to-find information. Simply click on your city of interest on our featured cities page. Each city page offers a comprehensive list of neighborhoods where you can find an overview of the rules and regulations in a box titled “Association Information.” Here you will find minimum down payment requirements, credit score thresholds, application fees, interview requirements, maintenance fees and what they cover, detailed pet regulations, and vehicle restrictions.
RULES AND REGULATIONS
It is your right to obtain and review the condo community’s documents, rules, regulations, and bylaws when purchasing condos for sale in Florida. Be sure to review these documents closely to ensure there are no infringements on your lifestyle. Once the documents are in your hands, you will need to sign a form confirming the date of receipt. You will then have a three-day right of rescission when you can cancel the contract without forfeiting your earnest money deposit. So if you discover that your dog exceeds the communities weight limit or you are not allowed to rent your unit out in the future, you can cancel your contract and move on to find an association that is a better fit.
Communities may be pet-friendly, but restrictions still may apply. Some associations only allow cats and birds or dogs up to a certain weight. Most buildings have a limit to the number of pets permitted in each unit. What are you planning on doing with the home? If it’s a potential investment, it’s extremely important to look at the restrictions regarding leasing. There may be a minimum time of ownership before you can lease, and a minimum period of time a lease can be written for, such as 3 months or a year. Vehicles are another area to pay attention to while reviewing the association documents. If you drive a pick-up truck, motorcycle, or commercial vehicle, you may not be allowed to park your vehicle on the premises. Before going under contract, be sure you agree with all of the rules and regulations you will need to follow.
Condo associations, or COA, and homeowner associations, or HOAs, are similarly structured, with the main difference being the type of dwelling and ownership. Often people use COA and HOA interchangeably. The main difference is ownership and the type of dwelling. HOA’s tend to offer fee simple ownership in which you own the single-family home or detached dwelling and the land beneath it. Whereas most condos are attached, and you own the interior space, but not the land it sits on. Common areas are communally owned in both HOAs and COAs.
Find out if your community of interest is governed by an HOA or COA by visiting the county appraiser’s website, where you can search by property address. If the legal description contains the word condominium or condo, it is governed by a COA, if it doesn’t, it is likely run by an HOA. Search by the property address at the Broward County Appraisers website or Palm Beach County Appraisers website.
A condo association is run by an elected board, generally with a president, vice president, treasurer, and secretary. As an owner in a condominium community, you have the right to vote on board members and run for office. The condo association takes care of everyday activities, makes decisions on behalf of all of the owners, and makes certain the rules and regulations are being followed. In order to put an offer on condos for sale in South Florida, most times, an application must be filled out and submitted to the board, and an interview may be required for approval. Be sure to complete your association application as soon as possible because most communities take up to 30 days to process applications.
SOUTH FLORIDA CONDOS FOR SALE BY CITY
Click on the links below to browse the most current condos for sale in South Florida. If you want to get more detailed community information, visit our featured cities page, where you can find current listings, association information, and neighborhood amenities in the neighborhood list on each city page.
ATLANTIS | BOCA RATON | BOYNTON BEACH | DEERFIELD BEACH | DELRAY BEACH | FORT LAUDERDALE | GREENACRES | HIGHLAND BEACH | JUNO BEACH | JUPITER | LAKE PARK | LAKE WORTH | LANTANA | LIGHTHOUSE POINT | NORTH PALM BEACH | OCEAN RIDGE | PALM BEACH | PALM BEACH GARDENS | PALM BEACH SHORES | RIVIERA BEACH| ROYAL PALM | SOUTH PALM BEACH | TAMARAC | TEQUESTA | WELLINGTON | WEST PALM BEACH
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