If you're looking at buying a Gulf Shores condo, there are all kinds to choose from and each building has its own amenities. If you are downsizing or retiring, or maybe buying a condo as an investment property, here are a few very important things to know and check on before you make an offer to purchase:
1. The most important thing when buying a condo is to get a copy of the condo association by-laws or regulations, and obtain a copy of the master association by-laws. These are the be-all, end-all when it comes to life in a condo.
2. In keeping with the rules of the building's board or association, find out how much the fees are, and how that cost fits into your yearly budget.
3. It's good to check if there are any special assessments coming up in the future. Special assessments can be fees condo associations will charge owners to pay off emergency repairs, one-time large repairs or lawsuits.
4. Watch out for high foreclosure buildings which will have to increase maintenance fees to make up for delinquent owners. Nobody likes to pay more for building maintenance than they already have to.
5. Many people buy condos with the aim use them as an investment and rent the unit out to holiday makers. This is a great way to supplement your income but make sure you check the rules on rentals before you buy. Especially the length of rentals allowed and the percentage of rentals allowed by the building. Also, read the rules carefully for other policies such as age restrictions and pets.
6. It's always a good idea to double check if there is a lawsuit pending on a building you're interested in. As a worst case scenario, all condo owners would have to pay out an award. Which also makes it essential to inquire about the condo association's liability insurance. Speaking of insurance, make sure the condo board has liability coverage for: Accidents (like someone slipping and hitting their head or falling into a pool), errors or omissions by the condo association, or actions of the owners. This can be an issue when a condo owner doesn't like a rule and goes to court to get it changed. And lastly, be sure the building has hurricane damage insurance. Hurricanes are a reality for the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach areas.