96°F
weather icon Clear

What are the unique pitfalls in buying a condo?

Q: When buying a condo, what should I look for to ensure a quick resale when I’m ready to move on?

A: Condos are popular because they can provide affordable housing in otherwise unaffordable locations, a home with fewer maintenance demands and convenient access to public transit, employment, entertainment and shopping.

You’ll want to purchase a property in a high-demand location that appeals to buyers of all ages and is priced far below the single-family options in the area.

But avoid buildings with tons of amenities and luxuries that drive up homeowners association fees. The high fee is a turn-off to people who don’t plan to use all of these features.

Also, be careful about buying in areas that are dense with condo developments. Ideally, you want to be located closer to single-family residences or, at least, more upscale condos.

Look for buildings that are close to transportation, shopping and employment. These conveniences add value.

You’ll also want to be near major highways and public transit lines and close to the central business district or major tourist attractions.

Q: Does the financial health of the condo association matter?

A: Absolutely. In a condo development, individual unit owners are jointly responsible for common maintenance, operations and repairs.

Owners pay monthly homeowners association fees for these expenses. An association that doesn’t collect enough might be deferring maintenance and failing to build reserves for future needs. The result can be a special assessment, an unexpected bill sometimes in the tens of thousands of dollars. Insufficient monthly dues can also mean a large future increase in HOA fees.

Buyers should carefully review the complex’s recent board minutes, replacement reserve study and financial statements for potential issues.

The right monthly HOA fee pays for monthly operating costs and creates a reserve fund that can cover 70 percent to 100 percent of anticipated major maintenance costs, like a new roof. Be wary of complexes where less than 30 percent of the anticipated costs are funded.

Condo buyers should also note the building’s overall condition, as aging systems, worn-out amenities and deferred maintenance could all be signs of a future special assessment.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
3 can make a quorum for HOA board

Let’s assume that you have a full board of five directors and at a duly noticed board meeting only three directors can attend.

Changes in law will affect how associations can tow vehicles

Senate Bill 212 was changed. It affects how associations can tow vehicles in the community. The existing law states that a vehicle may not be towed until 48 hours after affixing a notice to the vehicle that explains when it will be towed (with the exception of vehicles that are related to health, safety or welfare, i.e. parking in front of fire hydrants, etc.).

RESALE HOME SALES May 29-June 3

Editor’s note: Listings include the resale home’s parcel number. The address listed is the homebuyer’s mailing address and not the actual location of the resale home. About 90 percent of these addresses reflect the home purchase. Check the parcel number to make sure. Also, a few transactions do not reflect the market value of the homes. The information is provided by Accudata, a local research firm. For the complete listing, visit RJRealEstate.Vegas.

New Nevada laws that will affect HOAs

There were not too many laws passed in this last legislative session that affected our local homeowners associations. Here are some that did.

BHHS partners with Adwerx to offer Realtors new program

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Nevada Properties, in partnership with Adwerx Enterprises, has launched a new platform, called Brilliantly Simple to immediately advertise its real estate listings online. The platform automatically creates digital advertising programs for each home, including custom ads that are optimized for social media, apps and websites.

Homeowners have right to see HOA financial records

Per Nevada Revised Statute 116.31175 (1a), upon written request, you are entitled to receive financial statements from your association. Please send a formal specific request of what financial statements that you would like to receive.

High land costs affect developments

For all the job growth and expansion in the Las Vegas economy, a lack of land and its high cost is restricting growth in the valley, experts told the Southern Nevada real estate and development community.

Local home prices stuck at $300,000

For the third straight month, the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors, GLVAR, reported that local home prices are hovering at $300,000, while the number of homes on the market continues to increase.

Fair Housing Law requires accommodations for disabled

The Fair Housing Law requires accommodations for the disabled. Based upon your email, the homeowner would have a strong claim against the association if the homeowner was forced to remove the motor home, or if the association were to fine the homeowner because of the therapy equipment. Take the time to meet with this homeowner and see if there are any other viable alternatives.