Questions You Must Ask Before Buying a Condo Installment #5 : Who Manages the Condo Complex?

This is the fifth installment in our video blog series on Questions to Ask Before Buying a Condo in Andover and beyond. If you’re thinking about buying a condo in Andover or anywhere in Massachusetts, you’ll want to be informed on every aspect of the property before you purchase it. It’s important that you know just the right questions to ask to uncover any issues before you buy.

Who Manages the Condo Complex?

Is the condo complex managed by a professional management company or is it self managed by the unit owners?

I’ve noticed the larger associations (more than 8-10 units) typically have an offsite professional management company handling the vendors, maintenance, and paying the bills with trustees overseeing the management company.

In smaller complexes, 4-10 units, you’ll see the condo owners getting together as needed to determine what to do regarding mowing, snow plowing, painting, etc. Sometimes they’ll do the work themselves to keep the costs down.

The professionally managed condo complexes can typically have a higher monthly condo fee since they are paying for the management company. However, when the condo complex is large, it is important to have a professional management company because typically the trustee members(appointed condo unit owners) are not in the business of maintaining large scale properties.

Another important question to ask is: who controls the checkbook. In the larger condo complexes with property managers in place, it’s important to know that someone on the board of trustees must sign the checks to pay the bills. You don’t want to give complete control of the checkbooks to the management company, which is unfortunately a common practice. There are still management companies that do have the trustees sign the checks, and I believe that is the best practice.

More Questions to Ask Before Buying a Condo:
1. What is the Condo Fee & What Does it Cover?
2. What are the Condo Rules & Regulations?
3. How Much Money is in the Reserve Account and How Much is Funded Annually?
4. Are There Any Pending Special Assessments?
5. Who Manages the Condo Complex?
6. Is the Condo Association Involved in Any Pending Legal Actions?
7. How Many Condo Units are Owner Occupied?
8. How Many Condo Units are Delinquent on Paying Their Condo Fee?
9. Do Condo Unit Owners Have Exclusive Easements or Right to Use Certain Common Areas?
10. What does the Condominium Complex’s Master Insurance Policy cover?

For over 30 years the Prime Property Team and Ron Carpenito of Keller Williams Realty Andover have been helping home buyers and sellers in Andover, North Andover, Haverhill, and the Merrimack Valley with their real estate goals. If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home anywhere in Massachusetts or know someone who is, contact Ron today at (978)494-0346.

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