10 Must-Ask Questions Before Buying a Condo in Chicago


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Unlike living in a typical house, a Home Owners' Association (in short, HOA) manages all the repair and maintenance work while living in a condo. The HOA maintains modest monthly assessments while maintaining significant maintenance assets. However, if the HOA is poorly run or gets into legal trouble, it might turn out to be a nightmare.

You will find plenty of modest or luxurious condos in Chicago. These condos can be considered wonderful personal residences. That is why a condo in Chicago won't take much time to sell because there is always a person on the standby list who is willing to buy it.

But you should know some common facts before buying a condominium in Chicago or anywhere else. In today's discussion, we will answer a few of the must-ask questions before buying a condo in Chicago.


The 10 Must-Ask Questions Before Buying a Condo in Chicago


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Like private residences, condominiums are funded through individual mortgages. This gives consumers the option to purchase either using cash or with 100% VA financing.

There are a large number of real estate properties in Chicago, some of which will cost less and some of which will cost more. Therefore, you will have plenty of options regardless of the cost of buying them. But before you buy a condo in Chicago, you must know the answers to the following questions.


    1. What proportion of homes are rented out vs owned?

    The complex becomes less appealing when the ratio of renters is larger. A negative indicator is when tenants occupy more than 25% of the apartments. On the contrary, it would be a positive indicator if the complex maintained rental policies.


    2. Does the property have a rental capital for shareholders?

    Capital for rentals might be tricky. Buyers who are purchasing a condo for the first time value it. But it is different for the investors or shareholders. To gain an idea of the capital needs, it is essential to inquire in advance.


    3. How many units have not yet submitted their assessment?

    Sufficient funds are reserved for the Homeowner's Association if most of the condo owners fall behind on their payments. Then, it would be difficult to cover costs for maintenance, service, fire, and other liabilities.


    4. Does a particular company hold over 10% of the total units?

    Typically, no one owner or company is permitted to possess over 10% of the total number of units. If one individual or organization does possess more apartments, then mortgage brokers won't easily provide loans to other people.


    5. Do any of the CC&Rs or bylaws seem unusual?

    CC&R stands for "Covenants, Conditions, and Limitations." You should carefully examine the details of these records after getting them from the realtor. Inquire about any pet or housing restrictions. Beware of "first right of refusal" clauses that offer the HOA staff the option to purchase any apartment that becomes available for purchase.


    6. What features of their condos do the condos' current owners enjoy most and least?

    Before you purchase a condo in Chicago, you should identify some current owners of the condo and ask them some general questions. Get to know what they like and hate about living in their condos. Also, get information about the caretaker from the residents.


    7. When compared to similar condos, how does the monthly assessment stack up?

    Before purchasing a condo in Chicago, make sure to inspect a minimum of 5 to 10 surrounding condominium buildings. Ask each individual for their most recent financial report. At the same time, you should know the upcoming and present details of charges and evaluations.


    8. How to transfer the common spaces to the Home Owners' Association or HOA?

    You must be aware of the rules governing the HOA's common spaces as well as the number of sold units. You should be patient while buying a brand-new condominium in Chicago. The majority of mortgage lenders won't fund until a minimum of 50 - 75% of the total units are sold and closed.


    9. Who handles inquiries for the association?

    Unless you are certain of the contact person in the event of an emergency or inquiries, don't begin the purchasing procedure.


    10. Who handles inquiries regarding the main insurance plan?

    In addition to knowing the contact person, you should know the contact person to whom you should speak if you have inquiries regarding the main insurance plan.


    # Bonus Question - How well does the soundproofing work?

    Don't forget to check the soundproofing of the condominium before buying it. Soundproofing issues are one of the most common concerns for condo owners.


In summary, we suggest you ask yourself these 10 must-ask questions before buying a condo in Chicago. Consult a mortgage broker as well to assist you through the loan procedure and understand all the details of purchasing a condo.

Nonetheless, there are both pleasant and awful condominium buildings. You should always consider the build quality and management of a condo in Chicago since both of them are crucial. Watch out for condo buildings when the developer also serves as the HOA president.