Top 5 Tips for Buying a Condo in California
Condos are an excellent option for buyers looking to upgrade to a larger single-family residence without all the upkeep of a detached home. These are our top five tips for buyers looking to buy a condo in California:
1. Get pre-approved for a mortgage.
Unless buyers are planning to pay for their condo with all cash, they will need a loan to cover the purchase funds. California has one of the most competitive housing markets in the nation due to tight supply and high demand. Having a pre-approval from a reputable and established lender will help buyers adequately compete in the hot condo market.
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March 26, 2023
View mortgage rates for March 26, 2023
2. Stay in the game and be ready to move quickly.
The housing market in California moves fast. We have seen hundreds of buyers knocked out of pre-qualifying range and lose deals because they’ve taken adverse actions after being pre-approved. These actions don’t always disqualify buyers, but they do add lengthy delays and additional time-consuming paperwork. We’ve compiled a list of “Actions to Avoid After Getting Pre-Approved” that we recommend every pre-approved buyer read.
3. Research condo financing thoroughly.
Condos have different Fannie Mae financing regulations and rules in comparison to the standard single-family detached property. Condos also usually have additional fees for building maintenance, referred to as Home Owner Association Dues (HOAs). HOAs can significantly affect a buyer’s purchase power – learn more about that here. We suggest that prospective condo buyers additionally read through our list of “Things to Know When it Comes to Condo Financing.”
4. Consider the amenities.
Unlike a detached home, condos have additional amenities for their residents. Popular amenities are fitness centers, gyms, and pools. Buyers should also consider what parking and community space the building offers to residents. These amenities usually come at an additional charge and should be discussed with the building or property owner.
5. Keep an eye out for pre-construction condo deals
Sometimes, condos that are in the construction process offer deals for prospective buyers to buy a future unit at today’s prices. Pre-construction condos are usually cheaper because developers are trying to get as many funds as possible before groundbreaking. The timeline on pre-construction condos is longer (they need to build the condo first), but for buyers with a longer time horizon, this is an excellent option to invest early and save money.
This blog covers the very basics of condo financing. If you are thinking about purchasing a condo or have additional questions, you can reach us here, by phone at (855) 855-4491, or by email at [email protected].