Buying a condo in Florida is big business.
A size-able proportion of the available real estate across the state of Florida, including the Venice and Sarasota County area, are condos. Many enjoy them for the low-maintenance lifestyle they provide and for this very reason, they are very popular as second or vacation homes as well as investment properties.
If you are considering buying real estate in Venice, FL, a condominium can be a great option, but it’s not something you can just jump into.
That’s where we come in. Please read on for our Venice condo buyer’s guide for 2020.
Know What You’re Getting Into
First off, what is a condo exactly anyway?
At its very essence, a condo is a shared space where the ownership of any common areas is split between the various residents of the development. They can come in many forms, from traditional apartment-style units all the up to something resembling a single-family home.
But, they all have some kind of shared, common area where ownership is split. Basically, anything within the walls of your unit including the roof are owned by you, anything outside is shared.
In a lot of ways, the purchase of a condo is more complex than that of a detached, single-family home. The shared ownership of a condo certainly introduces added complications.
Know What You Want
Before you even get to the point of speaking with a lender, it’s important to know exactly what you’ll be using the property for.
- Are you planning to live there full-time?
- Is it a part-time or vacation property you’ll be managing from out of state?
- Is it an investment property that you plan to rent out? Monthly? Daily?
These are all considerations that will not only dictate what kind of property you’ll likely want and where you want to buy, but also the terms of your mortgage.
Condo Board Rules / Covenants
Whenever you have a handful of people that are expected to live together in harmony, rules are a given. Condos are no different.
Condo board rules or covenants are the set of rules or bylaws that govern those common spaces that are communally owned by residents. These rules can dictate whether residents can park on the street, have pets or rent out their units, among other things.
You can see why these rules are an important area of consideration. For instance, if you plan to buy a condo as an investment, you’ll want to know if rentals are even allowed - and if they are allowed under what terms. For example, some condos will allow month to month rental under long-term lease agreements, while others only allow this kind of privilege after a year or two of occupancy.
Similarly, if you have thoughts of offering up your place as a vacation rental on a nightly basis, you better make sure that’s allowed.
Getting a Mortgage
The set up of the condo as well as the makeup of the other owners can actually have a big impact on the mortgage you can get. More specifically the size of the down payment.
In Florida, all condo developments must complete a condo questionnaire. The set of questions in this questionnaire is meant to evaluate the financial stability of owning in a specific condo development. It takes into account things like the number of delinquent owners and the proportion of condo units that are rentals.
It can have a big impact on the whether you’ll need to pay a 5% down payment or more.
Also, it’s important to declare whether you plan to own the condo unit as an investment. There are specific mortgage terms for investment property owners, and the down payment is generally larger.
Where Should You Buy?
Again, going back to what you plan to use your condo for will help out a lot in finding the perfect property for you.
Do you love the beach & plan to rent out to happy beach-goers? Maybe consider the barrier islands.
Is golf your thing? Explore the Venice area’s incredible golf & country club communities.
Venice’s incredible variety of condo developments are famous for some pretty top-notch, resort-style amenities, but they aren’t all created equal. If you’ve zeroed in on a development in an area you like, make sure the available amenities match your lifestyle. An on-site yoga studio or vegan juice bar are only desirable if that’s your thing.
No matter where you end up, it’s essential to extend your research beyond the property itself. What kinds of amenities are nearby. Make sure to explore the neighborhood either in-person or virtually to make sure its got what’s important to you, be it schools, shopping centers or a running track.
It’s also good to be aware of what the local tax situation is like, as this can vary quite a bit from city to city.
If you take anything from this article, be informed. The last thing anyone needs is to be stuck in a less than favorable position because they didn’t do their research.
Happy condo hunting!
Would you like to learn more about owning a condo in Venice or Sarasota County? Please contact Gulf Shores Realty online or call 941.488.6644