What To Look For In A Condo Conversion

by : Ki Gray

When you're thinking about investing in an apartment that's been renovated into a condo, there are several things to look for. A conversion isn't as simple as it may seem on the surface-a lot of work (or lack there of) goes into making a place that was once leased out into a permanent home.

1)Common Space
Many apartment complexes are designed for working people who commute-students who come home at night for school, dayshift employees who return to their rented one-
bedroom in the evenings-thus many apartment areas don't have a well kept common area. If you buy a condo conversion, think about how much time you'll be spending there, and consider looking for one with some green space or a pool.

2)HOA Fees
Because oftentimes a lot of money goes into a condo conversion, the monthly condo fees can be substantial. Read the fine print to make sure the fees won't go up too high, and try and find out whether your fellow owners have similar interests to yours.

Look closely at the details of your potential purchase. Are the walls thick enough between units, since condo dwellers often have a different lifestyle than people who live in less permanent apartment complexes? Are there washer/dryer hook ups in each unit, or is there a shared laundry facility? Are there still renters in the complex, or most units owner-occupied? Are the appliances brand new or have they been used by previous tenants?

If you're going to buy a renovated apartment, try and make sure the renovations have been true improvements. Many complexes use a lot of energy and water, so you might want to check if they have been updated in a green fashion-check for energy efficient windows and appliances, a standardized recycling program, low-flush toilets and good insulation. Because of the trend in green building that's sweeping the country, it'll make your property more valuable in the long run if you pay attention to those features now.