14 Important Questions to Ask Before You Buy a Condominium

Before you buy a condominium, get answers to the following. It could save you time, money and hassles.

1. What percentage of units are owner-occupied? What percentage is rented? Generally, the higher the percentage of owner-occupied units, the more marketable the units will be at resale.

2. What covenants, bylaws, and restrictions govern the condominium property? What grandfather clauses are in place? Ask for a “Status Certificate” (in Ontario) and review the bylaws to determine if those are acceptable to you. Have your lawyer check the “Status Certificate” and seek his legal opinion..

3. How much does the Condominium Corporation keep in reserve fund? How is that money being invested?

4. Are Condominium Corporation assessments keeping pace with the annual rate of inflation? Smart boards raise assessments a certain percentage each year to build reserves to fund future repairs.To determine if the assessment is reasonable, compare the rate to others in the area.

5. What does and doesn’t the Maintenance fees cover-common area maintenance, recreational facilities, trash collection, snow removal?

6. What special assessments have been mandated in the past five years? How much was each owner responsible for? Some special assessments are unavoidable. But repeated, expensive assessments could be a red flag about the condition of the building or the board’s fiscal policy.

7. How much turnover occurs in the building? On average, how many units are for sale at one time.

8. Is the project in any litigation? If the builders or homeowners are involved in a lawsuit, reserves can be depleted quickly.

9. Is the developer reputable? Find out what other projects the developer has built and enquire residents about their perceptions. If the property is Old, find out if engineering study has been conducted lately to assess the condition of the whole development. If the property is in bad repair, it could become a big financial liability.

10. Are multiple Condominium Corporations involved in the property? In very large developments, umbrella Condominium Corporations, as well as the smaller Condominium Corporation into which you’re buying, may require separate assessments.

11. What constitutes “common areas” of the condominium corporation. Who else shares the common areas? Do they pay for it and how is that calculated.

12. Who manages the Condominium Corporation? If it is an outside management company, how long is their contract? A long term contract with an ill management could spell trouble for the unit owners.

13. What are the resale prices and how the subject condominium prices have performed vis a vis other projects and the overall market.

14. How long does it take to sell a property in the complex?

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Investing in Bangkok’s Property Market

Investing in property for first time can be a daunting prospect at the best of times, but investing in a foreign market such as Thailand can be even more unnerving. However, it can be easily argued there has never been a better time to invest in Bangkok property, providing, that is, you know how to go about it in the right way.

Condos – Best Investment for Foreigners

When a property investor is thinking about purchasing real estate in Bangkok, they should look to the city center – and at condominiums in particular – for the following reasons:

  1. Unlike land, town houses, and detached houses, condos can be owned 100% outright by non-nationals.
  2. At the present time, it is only the city center that is well linked up via the metro systems, namely the BTS and MRT. For a property investor in the Thai capital it is wise to buy a condo close to either the BTS or MRT stations.

Thailand to Open up to Asian Economic Community (AEC)

In 2015, Thailand, and therefore Bangkok, will open up to the AEC (Asian Economic Community), which like the former EEC in Europe will open the region up to a huge free market, thus allowing freedom of movement of capital, labour, goods and services. This will increase markets for investors in Thailand from approximately 65M people to approximately 500M, a massive increase, even by global standards.

Of course, the EU (formerly the EEC) has come under a lot of criticism in the last 5-6 years, but this has mainly been due to problems caused by the single currency. However, the AEC is proposing no such policy at this stage, and so the AEC should, in effect, perform as a catalyst for growth in the SE Asian region as the EEC did in Europe for most of the 1980′s, 1990′s, and early 2000′s.

Why the Thai Capital Is so Attractive to Foreign Investors

The Thai capital accounts for around 50% of the country’s total GDP, and as such has no equivalent competitor inside Thailand itself for size, wealth, and therefore property appreciation potential. In fact, Bangkok’s relative wealth and real estate market potential is not just confined to Thailand, but to the whole of South East Asia (SEA).

If you are a property investor in SEA, then it is difficult, or perhaps even impossible, to find a better market than Bangkok. The city has a huge, well connected by infra-structure compared to other real estate markets in the region such Jakarta, Manila, or Ho Chi Minh City (all of which have a long way to go before they catch up with the buy-to-let market in Bangkok), and you wouldn’t get the same ROI in other Asian real estate markets like Singapore and Hong Kong.

Location, Location, Location!

Our tip for investing in Bangkok is to get into the area where new stations have appeared along the BTS lines. The BTS line along the Sukhumvit road has recently expanded five stations from On Nut to Bearing, and these areas present fantastic opportunities for new investors. In fact, one of the best areas to offer great returns is Bearing. If you are serious about investing in the buy-to-let market here, then you will definitely want to look at Bearing which is at the eastern most edge of Bangkok.

Bearing represents the ideal up-and-coming area, so getting into the market now is the perfect time. Not only does it have a BTS station, but also has superb road links to Bang Na and Suvarnabhumi airport. Furthermore, Bearing is surrounded by dozens of schools, and most notably international schools. This of course translates into a whole host of international school teachers looking to rent good value condominiums in area so that they are close to their place of work.

Bearing condos on offer at the time of writing include these four popular options:

  1. Sense of London
  2. The Kensington
  3. Notting-Hill
  4. The Knight

These are fantastic properties that are very well constructed, well designed, and well located, and more importantly for buyer, all these Bearing properties are extremely well priced. For example, a one bedroom condo at The Kensington would rent for THB 12 000/month, while the purchase price would only be about THB 2M. This gives an investor in Bearing a return of over 7%, whereas similar units located more centrally along Sukhumvit can only expect a return of 5%.

The Kensington Condominium, Bangkok

Condominiums like The Kensington are not only aesthetically attractive choices, but also ones which are financially more attractive than options found in other parts of Bangkok. Not forgetting too that the ROI is only looking at the rental returns, and does not consider the capital appreciation. With properties in Bering being sold at an approximate 30-35% discount compared to those in other districts along the BTS lines, the scope for capital appreciation is high.

Ways To Sell A Condominium Unit Fast

With this tough economic situation we have, selling and buying of real estate properties such as townhouses and condominium units are seem to be difficult. More and more properties are going back to the banks and investors are not anymore confident if buying new investments is still a good idea. So, if you are one of those who want to sell their condominium, you should know that selling a condominium is going to be a little challenging, but you should also know that there are ways you can do to sell a condominium fast.

Despite the tough market in real estate, despite the fact that many states in the US suffered drowned market of unsold inventory, and prices that have either flattened or begun to fall, you should not be discouraged. There are still effective strategies you can apply to attract good buyers. The following are ways which are found effective in selling condominium unit fast! More sellers have tried these and they succeed. They have sold their condominium units fast!


1. Hire a real estate agent. You can never find anyone who can offer you better help than a real estate agent. Hiring a real estate agent has so many benefits. It is like saying you are done with the half of the job! The agent will do most of the work for you aside from sharing his knowledge to you. Through your agent, you can know what prices other sellers sell their condominium units. You will know at what price to sell you unit. And most importantly, he will find you qualified buyers. He can do the job faster than you do. Thus you can be done with the selling fast.

2. Advertising. Your agent will be very useful when advertising your condominium unit. Here, you should remember to check other listings. You must be sure that you are not overpricing your unit because potential buyers who will see you ad will immediately know if your price is in the line of has gone beyond.
In advertising, you can do any of these two:

• Advertising through the traditional ads (sign boards and news papers are examples.)

• Advertising through the internet i.e. setting up a website for your property for sale. This form of

advertisement is far effective than the other. This is because 80% of people who are looking for any real estate properties begin their search through the internet. If you do this, you can sell your condominium fast! It’s cheap and fairly easy to do. Upload a photo of your unit and the list of its features that will be used for attracting buyers.

Condominium Inspection – Justifies Why You Should Get it Done

Buying a condominium is a very attractive investment option. There are many types of condominium units available and you can buy one depending on the number of rooms, the facilities offered, the maintenance charges and the construction style. However, before you venture into buying a condo, it is vital to get a property supervision. Why?

Here is a look at top five reasons for getting a Condominium Inspection before purchase:

o Old apartment buildings are many times converted into Condominium Buildings. An evaluation is needed to assess the need for repairs, get a list of repairs to be done, the costs for the same and so on. This way you will come to know whether you are paying a fair price for the condo.

o The condo check up gives you the power to bargain the price with your seller as through it you come to know not only of the repairs involved but also any potential safety hazards.

o The superintendent evaluates the conditions in the condo that will have a direct influence on the conditions within the unit you choose to invest in.

o The process of evaluation checks various aspects of the property – the heating and electrical system that includes fittings, wirings, heating system that is different from heating systems in detached houses, hot water heater etc; any device that uses combustible fuel like gas fireplaces, gas stoves etc., proper opening/closing of doors and windows, sealing around wet appliances and so on.

o The exterior spaces of a home like terrace, stairs, roof etc. are checked by a condo inspector to ensure that everything is in a fine condition and doesn’t pose any concern later

Getting a Condominium Inspection prevents you from buying a property that is in poor condition. However to get the right results, you should opt for a thoroughly professional home inspection service, wherein the inspector can show you a license, experience and certification to prove his skills in home check up.

Invest in Real Estate the Smart Way

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Buying A Condominium As Holiday Home

If you always go to a foreign country for holiday, you should consider buying a real estate property there. Buying a condominium in a foreign country is profitable because the value won’t drop over years. Instead, the value of the property will increase over the years. You can sell the property to another person or earn rental income from it. Even if there is inflation, the rental income won’t drop. Buying a condominium as holiday home is a smart choice.

If you plan to stay at the foreign country for a few months, you can stay at the condominium you bought. In this way, you don’t have to stay in the hotel. The hotel fee is very expensive and it will cost a lot of money when you keep on staying there. By purchasing your own property, you don’t have to worry about all these problems. There are many condominium units you can invest in. Before you can invest in a condominium property, you need to consult a lawyer first. You must hire a law firm with good reputation in the industry. The lawyer will assist you with all the documents and arrange transfer of your new property.

After you make up your mind to purchase the real estate, you must speak to the lawyer and let him give you advice. The lawyer will perform research for the title deed and check the terms in the contract. If you plan to purchase an off plan condominium, you can get advice about pre-construction projects from the lawyer or construction company. There are a few costs you need to bear if you purchase the condominium in a foreign country such as transfer fee and property tax. If you want to know how much property tax you need to pay, you can consult a local real estate agent.

Most people will purchase the property through mortgage. You can get a mortgage bond from the banking institutions. There are a number of banking institutions that offer mortgage bonds to investors from foreign countries. You can ask the lawyer to help you obtain the mortgage bonds. The home loan is based on the foreign currencies. For example, the mortgage bond may be in foreign currencies such as Japanese yen, Euro dollar or United States dollar. The interest rate of the mortgage is based on the foreign currency.

You should only buy the condominium property from a reliable developer. You should avoid real estate developer which are new to the industry. Before buying the property, it is important that you check the property rights. Anything can go wrong in the condominium sale. If you plan to sell the condominium, be sure to consult the lawyer. If you want to rent a condo, you must learn the condominium rights first. In some foreign countries, the government does not provide any protection scheme. It is important that you draft the sale agreement before selling the condominium. If you hire a real estate agent, he will take care of the whole process.