While they are still residential properties, condos are not the same as single-family homes. That’s why there are some different dos and don’ts when buying condos in New Orleans.
Condo Buying Dos and Don’ts
Review all of the condo documents. These are the details on how the condo association is run, both financially and practically. Do they have a reserve for future improvements or repairs? Who serves on the board? How are members elected? How much are the monthly or annual dues? What do the dues cover? Are there pet restrictions? Limits on renting your unit later? These are important questions!
Find out what your dues cover. Is it more than just exterior insurance and maintenance?
Ask about pending assessments. You don’t want to move in only to find out that the pool is scheduled to be resurfaced or the roof needs to be replaced, and the owners will be expected to contribute their fair share for the payment of these expenses. If an assessment is already planned for the upcoming year, talk to your agent about negotiating at least a partial contribution from the seller.
Don’t skimp on inspections. While most inspectors will take just a cursory look at the exterior, it’s still important to fully inspect the interior. Just like buying a home, you want to be sure that all of the major mechanicals (electric, plumbing, HVAC) are fully functional and not near the end of their life.
Don’t make assumptions about what the condo association does or covers. You can only expect what’s listed in the condo docs (see Dos above), so it’s important to understand what’s covered.
Don’t skip flood insurance. The association will likely have coverage for the building itself, but it doesn’t insure your interior finishes or your personal belongings. It doesn’t matter if your property is in an X flood zone, the last time we checked Mother Nature doesn’t read FEMA maps.
Do you have other questions about buying a condo in New Orleans? Call us today at 504-327-5303 – we’ve got answers.