Looking For A Condo In Florida?
Here's How To Choose One


If you feel that modern housing has become too expensive, buying a condo could be a perfect choice for you as they make an affordable alternative to single-family homes, especially within the state of Florida. Not to mention that condo living comes with multiple conveniences and additional facilities which can enhance your lifestyle and give you the best bang for the buck.
With that said, choosing the right condo for yourself requires some research and a bit of due diligence to make an informed decision. It is essential to consider these five factors when you head out hunting for a condo in Florida.


Apartment building on the water at night. Lots of city lights. Miami, Florida.



Perhaps the most critical factor to consider when purchasing a residential building of any kind is to look at the type of area it is located in. Condos are no different than regular houses when it comes to differences in the quality of the area. Some areas have great parks, schools, and entertainment facilities, while others do not.

So, when you start your journey of finding the right condo for you, be sure to look for one in a great neighborhood where you can see yourself living for the long term. The Condo Black Book has a section on helping you find a great location in Florida if you want some additional guidance on this topic. Look for a condo in an area that appeals to you and where you feel both comfortable and secure.


The Homeowner's Association

The homeowner's associations govern and oversee condos in Florida, one of the differences between them and other housing types. These associations, made up of volunteer homeowners, aim to assist the community in maintaining the property and amenities of the condominium. HOAs typically regulate various aspects of life in a condo. These include pet regulations, parking regulations, occupancy limits, noise control, and more.

It is crucial to note that HOA membership is mandatory. You will enter into a contract when you purchase the property agreeing to follow their rules and guidelines. As a member of the homeowner's association, you will be subject to monthly or quarterly fees. The exact amount charged and the penalties of late payment depend on the individual HOA.

So, be sure to pick a condo whose HOA has drafted rules that suit your individual needs. HOA rules and regulations can impact your quality of life and financial situation, so do not overlook this aspect when purchasing your condo in Florida.

Many of these are based on the buyer's preference. For example, young families would find it convenient to live nearby to schools, but they might not like to live right next door, where there will be a lot of congestion. Living near commercial areas and freeways can be convenient for transportation, but living too close generally is undesirable.


Financial Considerations

Purchasing a condo in Florida has several implications and steps involved that you would not experience with any other kind of housing in any other state. Firstly, you will be subjected to stricter requirements when it comes to the down payment of your mortgage. Most condos in Florida are also not eligible for Federal Housing Authority (FHA) financing, making borrowing somewhat more difficult for you. However, this rule will probably be amended shortly.
So, you must complete your legal research before you go out and buy your condo since you need to know just how much it will cost you as well as just how much you're allowed to borrow for it.


Renting a Condo

Depending on the homeowner's association that you end up as a member of, you may be prohibited from being able to rent out your condo for at least a few years after you have purchased it. The exact duration that must pass before you are allowed to rent your condo is entirely dependent on the individual homeowner's association, with some allowing condos to be rented out almost immediately upon purchase. Others state a period of 2 to 3 years before it is possible.
So, if you are interested in renting out your condo after any period after purchasing it, be sure to have a close look at the individual requirements before renting is permitted by the HOAs of the condos that interest you.


Desirable Amenities

One of the major benefits of living in a condo is the chance to experience shared amenities in the form of gyms, swimming pools, and playgrounds. Although the number of amenities available to you will be entirely dependent on what the individual condo has, most condos in Florida will provide you with at least a few of them.
Therefore, it is important to decide beforehand which amenities you feel you need in your condo versus those that you may be okay with forsaking. Naturally, the more amenities a condo offers, the higher its price also tends to go up, so adjust your willingness accordingly.

A clean, well-kept home will quickly grab the attention of potential buyers. Taking care of the lawn, painting your trim and siding, decluttering your backyard, and staining your fence are good ways to enhance your home's look and feel without spending too much.


Tampa Bay Florida skyline


Congratulations to you on deciding to purchase a condo in the state of Florida. We hope you will have gained a good understanding of just what you should look out for when searching for the condo of your dreams in Florida.