real estate investing

Monday, August 15, 2005

Questions to Ask before buying a Condo in Aliso Viejo, California

Many homes built in Aliso Viejo are Condos... Do you Homework before your Buy.Aliso Viejo Real Estate prices have climbed considerably over the past 15 years. As a result of the escalating land prices, developers have built many Condos to try to the keep the cost of housing affordable.  Aliso Viejo Condos have been a popular choice and in fact, Condos have appreciated at a higher percentage rate than detached homes in Aliso Viejo in the past 3 years.  But before you buy a Condo, make sure you do your research, for the Home Owners Associations (HOA) add another layer of complexity to the decision process.  Here are the list of the most common questions that you should ask before you buy:How do I know if there are any pending issues regarding the Condo Association ?     The best way to address this issue, is to review a copy of the Minutes of the Board of Directors meetings.  The Home Owners Association is run by the homeowners who elect a Board of Directors (ie: President, Treasurer, Secretary) about once per year.  The Board will hire a Property Manager to manage the day to day services that a Condo association will require.  The Board usually meets once per month and they discuss any issues involving the Association.  These issues, if any, and documented in the Minutes of the Meeting, and should be disclosed to you by the Seller during the Escrow process.  Make sure you insist that you get a copy of these documents.Are there any Pet restrictions?   Years ago, a Condo association could have rules and regulations (CC&R's) that prohibited pets.  A law was passed in California that made such prohibition illegal, but the association can still have pet restrictions.  Today, an Aliso Viejo Condo association can limit the number and size of a pet (ie; no dogs larger than 180 lbs, no more than 4 cats, etc.)What are the Condo association Dues and what do they cover?    Condo association dues in Aliso Viejo will typically run from a low of about $130/mos to a high of $300/mos.   Dues will be higher due the following factors;  age of the buildings, extensive use of wood siding versus stucco, large landscaped areas, lots of amenities such as pool, spa, tennis courts, gym etc., and mis-management.  The dues typically pay for the maintenance of all of the above, plus the basic fire insurance policy.Are there any pending Lawsuits?    An attorney who specialized in Condo association litigation once told me some years ago, that 50% of all Condo associations have been in some sort of lawsuit.  These lawsuits are usually with the original developer, or a contractor hired to make repairs, or even with some of the homeowners in rare circumstance.  The good news is that most lawsuits between the Condo association and the developer come down on the side of the Condo association.  Make sure the Home Owners Association gives you a disclosure declaring if there are any pending lawsuits before you buy.  If there are this may affect your ability to get some forms of low down payment financing to purchase.Is the Condo Association responsible for repairs to my Home?    Yes and No.  A Condo association will make some repairs to your home, but not others.  Which ones they are responsible for are usually listed in the Bylaws and/or CC&R's.  Typically, the Condo association is responsible for all exterior landscaping, roofing, exterior walls, exterior doors and windows if repairs are due to normal wear and tear.  The home owner is usually responsible for all interior walls, flooring and ceilings.  Some Condo associations are responsible for water leaks in interior walls, but you will need to do some research to get these answers.  You can read to Bylaws and CC&Rs' but a much faster way is to call the Property Manager and ask them.If you would like to search for Condos and Houses for sale in Aliso Viejo, CA that are listed in the MLS, please visit our website below. See AlsoAliso Viejo CA Real EstateMLS Home Search, Prices, Photos and more. more...

www.veryoldbird.com/realestateinvesting
Originally Posted on 8/15/2005 2:10:00 PMContent source: http://ocrealestateblog.com/public/item/96166

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