The First Stop for Buying Condos in Milwaukee!
Milwaukee Condos - Chris Haines
The real estate market has seen some big changes the past fifteen years. We've seen a bad market turn good, then it got really good and then it got irrationally good. However, just like what has happened in other markets, real estate saw a bubble and homeowners in Milwaukee, Wisconsin as well as the rest of the US have been dealing with the fallout. This bubble affected all areas of the real estate market. While homes in many of the metropolitan Milwaukee suburbs and neighborhoods have been adversely affected by the real estate market, condos have many times felt the pinch much more severely.
Although, things are looking up! Especially condos in the Milwaukee area! The activity in 2013 has been extremely positive and we are seeing a rebound happening in the real estate market in most sectors of Milwaukee. I have recently experienced bidding wars on condos which had totally disappeared in the previous few years.
I get a lot of questions from customers who are buying condos on how the monthly condo fees works. Usually, a condominium association's assessment is based on the number of amenities and the amount of maintenance required for the common areas. A building that has a concierge, in-ground pool, exercise room, well-manicured grounds and included cable TV service will most likely have a higher fee than one that doesn't have any of those. It is important to remember that a condo association usually operates as a non-for-profit organization. It doesn't exist to make money from the condo owners. It is also key for a condo buyer to realize that when he or she buys a condo that they take ownership of a unit plus a share of the common area elements. Additionally, they are most likely given voting right which gives them a say in how the association operates.
Another question that buyers of condos often ask is how they go about obtaining a copy of the condominium documents; especially the rules and by-laws. The process in Wisconsin is like ones in other states. Usually, when a person is ready to make an offer on a condo, they are able to get a copy of the association's Executive Summary. This is a high level view of the most commonly asked questions about a condominium association's rules. Questions like "can I have pets" or "can I rent my unit" are usually answered here. That takes care of the basics. Usually it is enough to get an offer going. Once a buyer has an accepted offer, the seller must then get required documents, including the complete set of by-laws and rules, to the buyer before closing.
Insurance is another consideration when buying a condo. When someone buys a house, they usually buy a policy that covers the entire lot as well as the house and any other buildings on the lot. In the majority of condos out there, owners buy a policy that covers the inside of their condo. The monthly association fees usually cthe common area insurance for the complex.
Milwaukee condos offer a wide range of choices for a variety of lifestyles. The person who doesn't want to do any exterior maintenance can find a huge amount of options. On the other hand, there are also opportunities for someone who wants a lot of the privacy of a house but doesn't want a large lawn to mow. Milwaukee even has condos that are actually single-family homes. These condos give an owner a house where the exterior maintenance is handled through the monthly dues.
When buying a condo, a buyer will receive a set of documents. In most cases, an annual budget will be included in these documents. The budget is important to review. One of the financial considerations when buying a condo is the association's reserve fund. This fund is the rainy day money that the association keeps. In most cases, part of each monthly dues payment includes a contribution towards the reserve fund. This way there is money available when a major capital expenditure arises such as a parking lot resurfacing project, roof replacement, etc. An association that does not have enough money to ca major cost usually votes to approve special assessments on each unit owner. Some of the buyers I work with get nervous about the potential for these types of scenarios. However, it is important to realize that these expenses are divided among the unit owners where a homeowner would have to come up with all of the money for projects.
For more information about the purchasing of a condo, please call me at 414-339-1686.