Step 13: Reading the Condo Documents

Read the Condo Documents

If you’re buying a condo you will need to review and approve or disapprove the condominium documents. In the purchase and sale contract, I will have negotiated a review period (usually 10 days). The seller will need to deliver these to us within that time frame. These documents generally include the Declarations and Bylaws, the Rules and Regulations, Resale Certificate, the current year budget, the meeting minutes, and the 22.1 disclosure. If you’re buying a single-family home or a multi-unit building, this step might not apply to you.

What to Look For

The reason you need to review these documents is that when you buy a condo, you’re not just buying your particular unit, but you’re also buying into the building. You need to figure out if the building is stable and healthy financially speaking or if there could be potential problems, either with big upcoming maintenance issues or delinquent condo owners who aren’t paying their HOA fees, etc. It’s also important to learn about the building’s rules such as:

  • Are there pet restrictions (number of pets, breeds, weights, etc.)?

  • Can you move in any day/time or are there restrictions on when you’re allowed to move in?

  • Are there are move-in fees or procedures such as needing to reserve an elevator?

  • Can you lease your unit and, if so, for how long?

  • Are more than 50% of the building renters? If so, there is a good chance your mortgage lender won’t approve the loan as a building with too many renters is a risky investment

For all of the above reasons, we strongly urge you to read each condo document thoroughly. Write down any questions or issues you’d like to know more about as we can ask for clarification or further documentation. Pay particular attention to the meeting minutes as this is often where you’ll learn what’s really going on in the building and any future plans for big-ticket repairs.

After you’ve read the condo docs, email me any questions you have and whether you feel comfortable going forward, want to cancel the contract, or would like additional information.

Questions? Call or text me at 253-988-8252


Quick Link to: Step 14 – Appraisal Time