When purchasing a condominium in Massachusetts, you have a right to review information on that condo before deciding to move forward with a purchase. This is an important step that should not be skipped. Here are 3 reasons to review condo documents before buying in MA.
1. Understand the Rules
All condos have rules. Condominium documents typically include a detailed list of rules and regulations. This tells you what is allowed or prohibited on the property. For instance, if you have a patio, deck, or porch, what do the rules say about putting furniture, plants, and other items in that space. The same goes for hallways and other common areas. Some rules may limit your enjoyment of the space and may therefore be important to your decision-making.
2. Evaluate the Financial Condition of the Association
Another important component of condo docs are financial statements. By reviewing these statements, you will get a sense of how much the condo association has saved in reserve funds, what is spent for routine maintenance or capital improvements, etc. Future projections might also be available. Review this information closely. Your condo fee contributes to this activity and the information in these statements might forecast the need for future increases in the condo fee. Thus, it’s one of the most important reasons to review condo documents before buying in MA.
3. Know What’s Going On
The third reason to review condo documents before buying in MA is to understand what exactly is going on at the condo complex. Meeting minutes will tell you many different things such as:
- What unit owners are complaining about.
- What actions are being taken by the association.
- What topics are being discussed.
- What repairs are being completed.
- Budgeting topics/concerns.
- And more!
Here’s an example that highlights just how helpful meeting minutes can be:
Condo associations might discuss the possibility of a future condo fee increase or a major assessment. An assessment is a charge to all unit owners for an expense that was unplanned or that the reserve funds do not sufficiently cover. For instance, if the roof of a complex requires replacement sooner than expected, there may not be enough reserve funds to cover the expense. If the shortage is $50,000 and there are 100 units owners to be charged equally, each would be assessed $5,000. This is an unexpected charge that could create a hardship. If the details of the assessment are not finalized, sellers might not disclose it to you. However, by reading meeting minutes, you would see that such an assessment is a possibility.
Summary of Reasons to Review Condo Documents Before Buying in MA
Buying a condominium means buying into a community for which you will share costs and responsibilities. Your primary reason to review condo documents before buying is to get a better understanding of potential risks that may come with that purchase. By knowing where things stand and what to expect, you will be able to budget your own expenses and make better home buying decisions.
For assistance with reviewing condo documents, negotiating purchase and sales agreement terms, and other legal home buying services, please contact us! We specialize in assisting home buyers throughout Massachusetts.