Condo Board Meeting Rules — What You Need to Know

Whether you’re planning on attending or running a condo board meeting, it’s crucial to have a grip on the rules.

Don’t worry—the Luxury Living team is here to break down everything you need to know about condo meeting rules.

Overview of Condo Board Meeting Rules

Condo board meetings designate a time and space for the association’s board of directors to manage the day-to-day administration of the condo association, such as the rules, regulations, and maintenance of housing development.

While specific condo board meeting rules depend on the community’s bylaws, there are standard expectations for any board meeting.

Condo board meetings must remain open to the members of the association unless it is a closed or “executive” meeting. These exclusive meetings are occasionally arranged to discuss more confidential matters, such as a legal issue or a homeowner’s financial status. 

Condo boards are always required to notify association members of meetings, often between seven and thirty days in advance. The notice should include an agenda of topics to be discussed.

During the board meeting, the agenda needs to be followed unless the governing documents provide an open forum during which new members may raise new business.

A member of the board is also required to keep minutes of each meeting and make those minutes available to HOA members.

Know What You Can Ask, Bring Up, Etc.

If you have an upcoming board meeting to attend, it’s helpful to know what’s appropriate to discuss beforehand.

One of the most important rules of thumb is sticking to the agenda. Make sure your questions and comments are relevant to the current discussion unless you’re provided an open forum at the end of the meeting.

Also, keep in mind that the board meeting is focused on more specific, day-to-day matters. if you have any concerns dealing with broader issues, such as rules of the association, or the annual budget, you can bring up these topics at the condo membership meeting.

Additional Resources 

If you’re an existing member of a condo association, don’t hesitate to reach out directly to your board for more clarity regarding the condo board meeting rules. You can also examine the association’s bylaws yourself if you feel comfortable.

A licensed broker is another excellent resource if you have questions or you’re still looking for the right condo. Connect with our experienced team today!

Can You Renovate a Condo?

Condo renovations can help transform a house into your dream home. These projects also have the potential to increase the value of your property drastically.

If you’ve questioned whether or not you can renovate a condo, then keep reading.

Whether you have experience with home renovations or this is a new venture, rest assured that the Luxury Living team is here to share how to remodel a condo and what you need to know beforehand.

 

Condo Renovations That Improve Your Home Value

Renovations have great potential to maximize your property’s worth. Improving your condo’s value can help ensure a return on investment if you decide to resell your property.

Check out some of the best condo upgrades to improve your home value:

  • Kitchen: According to real estate experts, the kitchen is the most significant upgrade. Many new home buyers rank ‘modern kitchen’ as a top priority in their house hunt. Invest in refitting this area with brand new quartz countertops, refitted cabinets, and stainless steel appliances.
  • Hardwood Floors: Floors are also a major selling point for your home. While hardwood floors may cost more out of pocket, they prove to be a worthwhile investment by helping units sell faster and for higher prices. There’s nothing worse than bad, outdated carpet.
  • Bathroom: The bathroom speaks volumes to potential homebuyers. It is worth your dime to upgrade the cabinets and other features throughout your bathroom. Good news is that these upgrades tend to run at a much lower cost compared to kitchen renovations.
  • Paint: Even a fresh paint job can work wonders for increasing the value of a condo. Play it safe and stick with a neutral color scheme. Whites and off-whites remain the top-selling interior colors and appeal to most homebuyers.

 

What You Need to Know About Condo Renovation Rules

Homeowner associations (HOAs) are responsible for managing condo communities. These associations have tight control over establishing rules that unit owners must follow, especially when it comes to remodeling.

Condo owners are often under many more rules when it comes to remodeling a unit than single-family homeowners.

Before beginning any renovations, it is critical to examine your HOA’s condo renovation rules to see what is permissible. You can find these guidelines laid out in the CC&R (covenants, conditions, and restrictions).

Condo owners considering remodeling often inquire if they can remove a wall in a condo.  Generally, the answer is ‘yes.’ However, the unit owner must first go to the HOA board for approval.

Unit owners require permission to remove a wall is because it is considered a structural change.

So what exactly is a structural change in a condo?

In many HOA bylaws, when defining structural change, a standard clause reads, “Nothing shall be done in any unit or on the common areas which may impair the structural integrity of the building or which may structurally change the building.”

Essentially, a structural change involves changing your condo unit’s original floor plan and knocking down walls.

Anytime you change your unit’s layout, you need to run your design plans by HOA to ensure the safety of your unit and the entire building.


How to Use Condo Remodeling Contractors

Teaming up with condo remodeling contractors helps optimize the outcome of your home renovations. It also saves you time and stress associated with home improvement projects.

However, before moving forward with a contractor, you need to find a good fit.

Narrowing down a suitable contractor involves finding one who you trust and one who fits into your condo renovation budget.

Do some research beforehand and get recommendations. Speak with local real estate experts or friends to help find someone with a good track record. If no one in your circle of friends has a referral, check in with the National Association of the Remodeling Industry for a list of reliable members in your area.

If you think you’ve found your potential hire, meet for an in-person interview to be sure the contractor is a good match before making anything official.

Once you’ve secured the right person for the job, ensure that the contractor is up to speed with your HOA’s renovation rules and regulations.

The final step before contractors can begin residential contractor condo work is putting everything in writing.

Write up a contract that details every phase of the project: payment schedule; proof of liability insurance and worker’s compensation payments; a start date and projected completion date; specific materials and products to be used; and a requirement that the contractor obtain lien releases (which protect you if he doesn’t pay his bills) from all subcontractors and suppliers.

 

What Are Condo Flooring Requirements?

Homeowner associations often implement condo flooring requirements to minimize noise complaints and keep residents happy.

Hard-surfaced floors can lead to noise nuisances and frustrations from the downstairs neighbors.

Therefore many HOAs include restrictions on hard surface flooring in the rules and reference sections of the CC&Rs to ensure quiet flooring for condos. There may also be an adoption of guidelines as to what an owner can do to get approval for hard surface flooring if possible.

If you are considering tearing out that old carpet and replacing it with beautiful hardwood, be sure this condo renovation follows the HOA’s guidelines.

Laminate makes one of the best floorings for condos. This material looks as beautiful as hardwood, but is more affordable and know for its soundproof qualities.

Vinyl is another popular option that tends to provide the quietest flooring option.

Before moving forward with any home improvement project, be sure to understand and follow your HOA flooring rules to avoid conflict and complaints.


Can You Convert One Bedroom Into Two in Your Condo?

If you want to convert one bedroom into two, be sure to check out your condo HOA’s CC&Rs. Odds are you will need to get approval from the board before moving forward with the remodeling, especially since it is a structural change.

When examining what is considered a structural change in a condo, it is clear that if you add an extra room to your condo you will be changing the original floorplan of your unit and knocking down walls.

Before making any structural change, remember that you need to run the project pass your homeowners association to avoid fines or court. Many associations ask homeowners to file an architect’s plan for any alterations on a unit.

While it is likely that your HOA will allow this structural change, they need to be in the loop during this process, especially if it will be a loud and possibly disruptive project.

Homeowners associations generally try to grant unit owners as much freedom as possible, as long as they don’t upset or violate the rights of community members.

Renovating a condo provides an exciting opportunity for homeowners to bring their dream house to life. Begin your property’s transformation today!

Buying a Home in the Summer? Use These Tips

Any Chicagoan will agree that there is nothing like a Chi-Town summer- from the sunny Saturdays spent lounging on the beach to the constant energy felt among the city streets.

Not only does the city come alive during this sunny season, but the real estate market heats up as well.

Take advantage of the hot Chicago market and consider buying a home in the summer.

Buying a Home in the Summer

Summer house hunters are bound to find plenty of listings on the market to choose from. While the number of listings dwindles a bit from the springtime, this means that many buyers will see price drops or sellers will be more likely to negotiate for a better deal.

If you have a family, summer makes for the ideal time to move, before the new school year starts up. It allows kids to adjust to a new home and relax before classes are back in session.

Additionally, many leases tend to end at the beginning of summer, providing the perfect window of opportunity for first time home buyers.

Selling a Home in the Summer

While spring is known as the peak season in the world of real estate, the summer is still a great time to sell. According to Realtor.com, the summer months account for 50 percent of homes sold.

Although the real estate rush slows down after May, rest assured that there are still plenty of house hunters on the market during the summer. Furthermore, many of those buyers are serious and extremely motivated to close before the end of summer, before the cold and school start up again.

Summertime weather also ensures high-quality photos and much better showings than the gloomy seasons. The constant sunshine and landscaping in full bloom always help with the presentation.

Summer Moving Tips

The Luxury Living team has compiled a few pointers to keep in mind if you plan on moving during a toasty Chicago summer:

  • Hire a professional agent– To fully take advantage of the summer market, utilize an experienced broker to help narrow down the best housing options and secure the best possible price.
  • Move in the middle of the summer– The beginning and end of summer consistently prove the busiest times to move. Avoiding the craziest times will alleviate the stress of finding available moving trucks and empty elevators.
  • Prepare for the heat– During the moving process, be prepared for high temperatures and intense sun. Dress appropriately, stay hydrated, and layer on that sunscreen.

If you are ready for a new place and think you can handle the heat, consider buying or selling a home in the summer. Don’t let this hot summer selling season pass you by.

Why You Should Consider Selling or Buying a Home in the Fall

Fall is a season of change-  temperatures dropping, leaves falling and sweaters making an appearance.

Among this time of transitions, consider making a big move of your own by selling or buying a home in the fall.

Selling a Home in the Fall

The fall season, including dates between September 1 and November 30, often makes for a promising time to sell a home.

Naturally, selling a home during any season comes with advantages and disadvantages.

Here are a few pros and cons to be aware of if you plan on selling your home in the fall:

Advantages of selling a house in the fall:

  • The fall tends to bring in serious buyers. Fall house hunters are often motivated to purchase quickly- before the winter hits and the busy holiday season begins.
  • After the summer, there are fewer listings on the market. This means less competition for sellers and more opportunities to get close to or over asking price.

Disadvantages of selling a house in the fall:

  • Fall is considered an off-peak season, which means sellers won’t see as many prospective buyers as the springtime.
  • As the weather declines during the fall, this has the potential to hinder showings and curb appeal.

Fall Moving Tips

To ensure a smooth and successful fall move keep these tips in mind:

  • Begin the search or sale early- Typically the real estate market stays pretty strong, until about October when it starts to slow down. Therefore, if you are considering listing your home in the fall, don’t delay to increase the odds and timeline of a closing.
  • Photograph ASAPThe earlier you can take those professional house photos, the more promising they will turn out. Not only is the weather more likely to cooperate, but you are also more likely to still have some pretty landscaping intact and better lighting for the photo-ops.
  • Hire a professional agent– Teaming up with a licensed broker helps ease the buying and selling process, and also promotes closing the best deal. Brokers understand the local real estate market and have insight into maximizing the city’s season for a successful sale.

Best Time to Buy a Condo

If you are a new or younger buyer in the market for a condo, fall remains a great season to shop.

According to Trulia’s Q3 inventory report, peak home buying season for “starter” home buyers typically begins in the fall. With more homes listed during this season, buyers not only receive more options to choose from, but will also see the prices of homes soften.

If condo buyers are on a tight budget, winter may be a wise time to buy. This season generally guarantees the best deal on a purchase. However, be aware that there tends to be a limited array of listings on the market during this time.

Before it gets too cold or too busy, team up with an experienced broker who can make selling or buying a home in the fall the best decision of the season.

How to Go About Buying or Selling a Home in the Winter

The Chicago winters are a great time to bundle up, prepare for the holidays, and enjoy the plenty of restaurants. This season also makes for a fantastic time to buy or sell a home in the Windy City.

Buying or selling a home in the winter proves to be a smart move for both parties, and the Luxury Living team is here to tell you why.

Buying a Home in the Winter

Whether you are in the market for your first house or a new place to call home, consider buying your dream place in the winter.

Although winter may not be the most popular time to house hunt, this proves beneficial to buyers. The winter season provides the most affordable time to close on a new place.

With fewer people shopping for homes during the winter, competition is limited. This minimized competition means lower demand, which also helps keep the housing prices down.

Not only are there fewer buyers during the winter, but there are also fewer houses on the market. While this reduces buyers’ options, it helps keep the listing prices down.

Also, be aware that purchasing a house at the end of the year will provide significant tax benefits. If you close on a house before the new year, you can deduct closing costs, mortgage interest, and property taxes. Additionally, interest rates are generally lower before the new year.

Why Sell in Winter

The winter also makes for an ideal time to sell your property.

With a smaller pool of houses for sale during the winter, sellers have less competition as well. Naturally, with less competition, homes can be listed and sold for higher prices than during busy seasons.

A study conducted by online brokerage Redfin found that average sellers net more above asking price during December, January, February, and March. The same study also revealed that homes listed during the winter months sell faster than those listed in the spring.

Winter Moving Tips

Moving in the winter is a wise financial move, but it may also present some challenges.

To alleviate some of the stress associated with the Windy City winters here are a few moving tips:

  • Hire professional movers- We promise this is an investment that will prove worthwhile. Save yourself the time, trouble, and cold by allowing moving experts to take on the task.
  • Keep an eye on the forecast- Monitor the weather leading up to moving day to make sure there’s not an unexpected storm on the way. If the radar isn’t looking too promising you may want to adjust your moving schedule.
  • Find an experienced broker– Teaming up with a real estate and Chicago expert can help ease and speed up the process and make the transition easier.

Don’t let the cold keep you from buying or selling a home in the winter. Get in touch with a broker and begin the process today!

Here’s the Best Time of Year to Buy a Condo in Chicago

While there may not be a magic formula to determine the perfect time to invest in a property, an understanding of the real estate market and the Windy City seasons can help suggest the best time of year to buy a condo in Chicago.

With years of experience and a thorough understanding of the Chicago market, the Luxury Living team is here to help you decide on when you should start looking for a condo.

Best Time to Buy a Condo

Why is the timing of your condo purchase so important? The time of year that you chose to house hunt can impact various factors of your purchase- from the number of listings to choose from to the price of your desired property.

By understanding the seasonal market trends, you can better make a strategic and worthwhile investment.

Based on the Chicago market, every season has its own set of advantages for potential buyers.

For young home buyers, or anyone looking to save money, the winter months, specifically January and February, may be the best time to make an offer. Numbers show that average condo price drop around $6,000 in the winter, compared to the late spring and summer.

If buyers are more concerned with options rather than price, springtime offers Chicagoans with the highest number of housing listings to choose from. Just keep in mind that with more competition on the market, spring tends to increase the price of listings.

Best Time to Buy a Home in Chicago

While condos are a hot housing option in a large city, you may still be considering buying a single-family home in Chicago. If this is the case, keep in mind that the seasons affect the market similarly for both condos and homes.

Since many families occupy homes in the city, it is common for these families to chose to move around the summertime, before the new school year starts, especially if they are changing school districts. Therefore, this is a promising season to house hunt if you are looking for a large selection of listings on the market.

How Long Does it Take to Buy a Condo?

Once you are ready to pull the trigger and buy a property in Chicago, keep in mind that this journey may take a while. The entire process, from beginning the house search to closing on your purchase, can take anywhere from three to six months; or even longer if issues arise.

While the house hunting period depends largely on the efficiency of the buyers and agent, the average closing period in Chicago hovers around 45 days.

Make sure to keep up with these seasonal market trends and team up with an experienced broker to help you narrow down the best time of year to buy a condo in Chicago.

What’s the Best Time of the Year to Buy a Home?

Timing is crucial- especially when it comes to buying a home.

While there are plenty of factors to consider when purchasing a property, timing can drastically affect the market, which directly impacts your purchase.  

The Luxury Living team is here to help provide insight into determining the best time of year to buy a home.

Here’s the Best Time of Year to Buy a Condo in Chicago

If you are considering purchasing a condo in the Windy City, it is vital to figure out the best time of year to begin your house hunting to ensure a strategic and worthwhile investment.

While there is no perfect formula for timing your condo purchase, there are certain seasonal trends that help indicate the ideal time to buy.

For young home buyers, or anyone looking to save money, the winter months, specifically January and February, may be the best time to make an offer. Numbers show that average condo price drop around $6,000 in the winter, compared to the late spring and summer.

If buyers are more concerned with options rather than price, springtime generally proves to be a better time to house hunt. This season tends to offer Chicagoans with the highest number of housing listings to choose from. Just keep in mind that with more competition on the market, springtime tends to increase the price of listings. March through May are the months that homes find themselves selling for record high prices.

While condos are a hot housing option in a large city, we can’t forget about the single-family homes. If you’ are curious when the best time to start browsing for this home type, the rule of thumb is generally the same as condo purchases.

Once you are ready to pull the trigger and buy a property in Chicago, keep in mind that this journey may take a while. The entire process, from beginning the house search to closing on your purchase, can take anywhere from three to six months; or even longer if issues arise.

While the house hunting period depends largely on the efficiency of the buyers and agent, the average closing period in Chicago hovers around 45 days.

How to Go About Buying or Selling a Home in the Winter

While the Chicago winter is a time of holiday hustle and bustle and frigid temperatures, don’t let this deter you from buying or selling your home.

With the wintertime proving to be a wise time to buy a home, consider using this season to find your dream home.

While buying a home in the winter is often the most affordable time to purchase a property, keep in mind that listing options are not as abundant during this season. The smaller pool of homes helps keep the listing prices down but also limits your selection.

The winter is also an excellent time for people looking to sell their property, especially because of the tax benefits. Buying and selling in the winter allow both parties to apply credits or claims on taxes before the new year.

Moving during the Chicago winter is a wise financial move, but it may also present some challenges.

To alleviate some of the stress associated with the Windy City winters here are a few moving tips:

  • Hire professional movers- We promise this is an investment that will prove worth it. Save yourself the time, trouble, and cold by allowing moving experts to take on the task.
  • Keep an eye on the forecast- Monitor the weather leading up to moving day to make sure there is not an unexpected storm on the way. If the radar isn’t looking very promising you may want to adjust your moving schedule.
  • Find an experienced broker– Teaming up with a real estate and Chicago expert can help ease and speed up the process.

Why You Should Consider Selling or Buying a Home in the Fall

The fall season is another promising time to consider selling or buying a home. During this time the normal market typically sees a second “rush” of buyers, especially as many leases come to an end, schools start back up, and people want to buy or sell before the winter comes.

Typically the real estate market stays pretty strong, until about October when it starts to slow down. Therefore, if you are considering listing your home in the fall, be sure to begin the sale early to increase the odds and timeline of a closing.

If your home has a nice amount of outdoor space, keep in mind that as the season begins to approach winter, your landscaping may start to die. You want to try and capture buyers attention while your outside is still pretty.

Tips for Buying or Selling a Home in Spring

Springtime in Chicago often proves to be a busy time in the world of real estate. Many sellers like to wait for the winter to pass until they list their property. Vice versa, many buyers also hold off searching for the dream house until the weather clears up and more listings pop up on on the market.

The main appeal for home buyers to shop in the spring is the listing options. This season tends to boast a variety of housing options, providing house hunters with endless choices and the opportunity to be more selective.

While buyers have the advantage of a wide selection, they should also be prepared to pay more competitive prices. If you end up finding a home during the spring, make sure to work closely with a licensed broker to help find a suitable property in your budget and negotiate a fair closing cost.

While these higher listing prices may deter some potential buyers on a budget, this competitive market tends to entice sellers. With so many properties for sale, sellers can list their house for the highest and best dollar. The nicer spring weather also enhances properties’ curb appeal and online pictures, which further helps attract potential buyers.

Buying a Home in the Summer? Use These Tips

There is nothing like a Chi-town summer. Not only is this the perfect time to explore Chicago, but it also makes for a great season to buy a home for yourself.

Summer house hunters are bound to find plenty of listings on the market to choose from. While the number dwindles a bit from the Springtime, this means that buyers will likely see price drops or sellers will be more willing to negotiate.

To fully take advantage of the hot summer market, be sure to utilize a broker to help narrow down the best house options and ensure you get the best possible price. Don’t forget that during this season you are likely to pay less than the asking price.

The summer is also a suitable time to put your house on the market if you are ready to sell. While your home may not sell as fast as it would in the Spring, the likelihood of a contract is still very high. Just be prepared for interested buyers to negotiate during this time of year.

As a seller, also keep in mind that the beautiful summer weather helps ensure better quality photos and better showings than during the gloomy seasons.

With a greater understanding of the Chicago seasons and how they impact the housing market, hopefully you feel more confident determining the best time of the year to buy a home.If this season is right for you, contact an experienced broker to help you find your dream home today!

Tips for Buying a Condo to Rent

Buying a condo to rent can make for an extremely rewarding investment. While this process is exciting, keep in mind that it is also a big endeavor.

It is critical first to understand the best approach to buying a rental property to equip yourself to make a wise and confident purchase. With this in mind, the Luxury Living team is here to help prepare you for buying and renting a condo.

Why People Buy Condos to Rent Them

Purchasing a condo to rent is an excellent opportunity to leverage additional monthly income, as well as tax benefits.

You will find yourself saving big money during tax season if you take advantage of all the deductions you are entitled to receive for expenses related to your condo rental. These deductions reduce the amount of money you are taxed, ultimately increasing your rental profits.

Many investors are also drawn to condos for rental purposes because these property types are often more affordable and easier to maintain than single-family homes, especially in a large city like Chicago.

Additionally, homeowners associations help alleviate stress for condo owners renting out their units. Since HOAs manage condo building, they are often responsible for handling many of the basic services. This means owners don’t have to sweat building repairs or managing garbage removal, a luxury that not all property owners have.

How to Approach Finding a Condo to Rent Out

Before narrowing down a condo to rent out, research is critical. Teaming up with a licensed broker can streamline the search process and ensure a suitable rental property.

We’ve compiled a list of key factors to consider when finding a condo to rent out:

  • Find a desirable location: When it comes to any property purchase, location is everything. Finding a hot or up-and-coming neighborhood will increase the value of your property.
  • Examine the HOA: Homeowners associations can impact your potential investment immensely. Before buying, make sure you feel comfortable with the HOA’s monthly dues, as well as their rules and regulations.
  • Consider financing: Before purchasing a condo, you need to apply for a mortgage. Lenders will often review the condo board documents and building operations.

What to Know About Having Renters

Before leasing out your condo, you also need to understand what it is like dealing with renters.

Condo owners seeking to lease out their property need to thoroughly examine renter applications to ensure a wise choice in a tenant. Since renters will be residing in your property, you want to choose a responsible tenant who will likely take care of the unit and keep up with rent.

Hopefully, with more insight into the world of renting, you can feel more confident buying a condo to rent out. Get in touch with an experienced broker to begin the process today!

Are Condos Hard to Sell?

Before investing in a property, particularly a condo, it’s natural for prospective buyers to question the difficulty or ease of the resale process.

While the resale process can vary, the Luxury Living team is here to break down the burning question, “Are condos hard to sell?”

Brief Overview of Selling a Condo

When it comes to selling a condo, one of the most critical factors to take into consideration is the homeowner association. This is one of the major distinctions between the sale of a condo and a single-family home.

Since the HOA manages the community, they are also responsible for laying out the rules and regulations regarding resales. Therefore they need to be the first point of contact before any resale.

Improving the chances and timeline of a condo sale also involves listing your property’s assets. These are all of the features that make your apartment great. Assets help your property stand out among all of the other current listings and attract potential buyers.

Additionally, ensuring a deal and profit involves pricing your property right. This involves having an understanding of the market and the value of your condo.

Teaming up with a licensed broker throughout this entire resale process will streamline the sale and help close a profitable deal.

Tips on the Current Market

Understanding the state of the current market is critical in deciding the timing and pricing of your property sale. Selling your condo during a prime market time can increase the odds and profitability of a sale.

Various factors, including the job market and time of year, may impact the market. However, even in down markets, the refreshing news is that condos tend to sell faster than single-family homes.

When it comes to pricing your condo with the market, it is pertinent to find a competitive price for your property. This involves researching similar listings and understanding how yours compares.

How Finding an Awesome Broker Makes it Easier

Finding an experienced real estate broker increases the odds of selling your condo, especially as a new investor. These licensed professionals have a thorough knowledge of the process as well as the current market.

Brokers also can help stage your condo, or find a professional stager, to help improve the presentation of your property so that it can stand out when it comes time to show.

Additionally, brokers have the experience to list your property appropriately. They can help market your property by highlighting your condo’s assets and putting your condo on the map.

If you have wondered if condos are hard to sell, rest assured that understanding the condo resale process and teaming up with an insightful real estate expert will ensure a smooth operation!

What You Need to Know About Buying a Condo as an Investment Property

If you have a desire to profit from the robust Windy City real estate market, consider buying a condo as an investment property.

For any new or experienced buyer, condominiums provide a more affordable and low-maintenance investment in a large city.

What Are Investment Properties

An investment property is real estate property that is purchased with the intention of earning a return on investment, or a profit on the original purchase. This ROI is often gained through either rental income or the future resale of the property.

While there is no magical secret to finding the perfect investment property, investors do rely on certain skills and strategies to help narrow down a property that is likely to be profitable.

Teaming up with an experienced broker is one of the first steps any buyer should take to ensure an informed and strategic property investment.

Why do People Choose Condos as An Investment

If you are considering investing in a condo, know that you are not the only one who recognizes the advantages that this property type offers. Condominiums attract investors for multiple reasons.

First, condos tend to be more affordable than single-family homes; especially in a large city like Chicago.

Condo investments also provide the opportunity to profit on monthly rental income and receive substantial tax write-offs.

Additionally, if you invest in a condo, there is less maintenance to worry about. The real estate investors are not directly responsible for caring for the building or common grounds area, which means more time and less stress.

How to Find the Right Option for Your Investment

To ensure a wise investment and maximize your ROI, it is essential to find a condo unit that best fits your needs.

Here are a couple of items to keep in mind when searching for the right investment:

  • HOA Fees: Investors appreciate condos because the homeowner association provides beneficial maintenance and services to residents. However, to fund these activities, unit owners are required to pay monthly or annual dues. Before closing on a property determine how much you would be expected to pay as a member of HOA.
  • HOA Rules: Along with fees, HOAs also establish a set of rules for condo owners and residents to follow. Some HOAs enforce stringent regulations regarding rentals, including the number of units that may be rented out. Examine your potential properties to ensure that the guidelines won’t interfere with any plans to rent or resell.
  • Financing the Investment: Be sure to sort out your plans to fund your investment. While obtaining mortgage loans is a common method of financing, keep in mind that these loans are generally more expensive to obtain than single-family detached homes.

If you are ready to break into the world of property investment and start building equity, consider buying a condo as an investment property. Let the Luxury Living team help you find the perfect property today!

Are Condos a Good Investment?

Investment properties open the door to various financial benefits. With multiple property types for investors to choose from, you may be wondering if condos are a good investment.

The answer is yes. However, to ensure a worthwhile investment, make sure you chose the right condominium to fit your needs. A wise selection is crucial to profiting on your property and building equity.

What You Need to Know About Buying a Condo as an Investment Property

Many people get involved with investment properties with the intention of earning a return investment. This involves purchasing a real estate property and receiving additional income either through rental income or the future resale of the property.

Condo units attract investors for multiple reasons.

First, condos tend to be more affordable than other properties, such as detached single-family homes; especially in a large city.

Condo investments also provide the opportunity to profit on monthly rental income and receive substantial tax write-offs.

Additionally, if you invest in a condo, there is less maintenance to worry about. The real estate investors are not directly responsible for caring for the building or common grounds area, which means more time and less stress.

If you are considering buying a condo as an investment property, it is essential to find a unit that best fits your needs.

To find the best option here are a couple of items to keep in mind:

  • HOA Fees: Condos are great because the homeowner association provides beneficial maintenance and services to residents. However, to fund these activities, unit owners are required to pay monthly or annual dues. Before closing on a property determine how much you would be expected to pay as a member of HOA.
  • HOA Rules: Along with fees, HOAs also establish a set of rules for condo owners and residents to follow. Some HOAs enforce stringent regulations regarding rentals, including the number of units that may be rented out. Examine your potential properties to ensure that the guidelines won’t interfere with any plans to rent or resell.
  • Financing the Investment: Be sure to sort out your plans to fund your investment. While obtaining mortgage loans is a common method of financing, keep in mind that these loans are generally more expensive to obtain than single-family detached homes. Also, if you are looking into a loan, be aware the lenders will not only evaluate you but the condo HOA as well.

Are Condos Hard to Sell?

If you are considering investing in a condo, it is natural to question the difficulty or ease of selling this type of property.

One of the most important factors to consider when answering this question is the HOA. Your homeowners association is responsible for laying out the rules and regulations regarding resales. This is also why it is important to understand your HOA’s guidelines before you ever purchase.

Improving the chances and timeline of a condo sale also involves listing your property’s assets. These are all of the features that make your apartment great. Assets also help your property stand out among all of the other current listings.

Finding an experienced real estate broker will also increase the odds of selling your condo, especially as a new investor. These licensed professionals have a thorough knowledge of the process as well as the current market.

Understanding the state of the current market is critical in deciding if it is a wise time to sell. Various factors, including the job market and time of year, may impact the market. However, even in down markets, the refreshing news is that condos tend to sell faster than single-family homes.

Tips for Buying a Condo to Rent

Many investors purchase condos to rent because it leverages monthly rental income and provides tax benefits.

Buying a condo to rent may prove a big endeavor, especially as a new investor. It is critical to understand the process beforehand to equip yourself in making a wise and confident purchase.

Here a few tips before closing a deal:

  • Find a desirable location: When it comes to any property purchase, location is everything. Finding a hot or up-and-coming neighborhood will increase the value of your property.
  • Examine the HOA: Homeowners associations can impact your potential investment immensely. Before buying, make sure you feel comfortable with the HOA’s monthly dues, as well as their rules and regulations.
  • Consider financing: Before purchasing a condo, you need to apply for a mortgage. Lenders will often review the condo board documents and building operations.

Before leasing out your condo, you also need to understand what it is like dealing with renters.

Condo owners seeking to lease out their property need to thoroughly examine renter applications to ensure a wise choice in a tenant. Since renters will be residing in your property, you want to choose a responsible tenant who will likely take care of the unit and keep up with rent.

What is an HOA Resale Package?

When a buyer is ready to purchases a condo, the homeowners association administers a resale package, often prepared by the seller, within ten days of the initial offer. This package is a packet of crucial information, including a complete set of record documents that govern the association.

While this package may vary depending on the state, it commonly includes the following documents:

  • Annual Financials
  • Articles of Incorporation, Budget
  • Bylaws
  • Covenants, Codes, & Restrictions (CC&Rs)
  • Insurance Declaration Page
  • Regular Meeting Minutes
  • Resale Certificate/Demand
  • Reserve Report, Rules and Regulations.

Every potential buyer should obtain an HOA resale package to gain critical information regarding the purchase, which may impact the decision to move forward with the purchase.

The resale package also eases the buying and selling process by laying out information that protects both the buyer and the seller from potential disagreements and litigation.

If you make an offer on a property and do not receive a resale package, your real estate agent should be the first point of contact.

Is a Home or Condo a Better Investment?

Potential investors commonly inquire if homes or condos are a better investment. The truth is that the answer is not black and white. It depends entirely on the buyer’s needs and the local market.

If you are looking to invest in a big city, specifically the Windy City, it is safe to say that a condo is a wise move.

Purchasing a condo allows for easier entry into the housing market at a much more affordable cost. New buyers have an easier opportunity to take advantage of tax deductions and build equity.

Finding affordable single-family homes in a big city tends to be unreachable for new or young buyers, with many of these properties reaching the millions.

Condo investments also mean less maintenance and more free time for buyers. Instead of worrying about keeping up with the yard or dealing with building repairs, condo owners can leave these concerns in the hands of the homeowners association.

Securing a worthwhile investment also involves a thorough knowledge of the market and the needs of the buyer. For new and experienced investors, licensed brokers can help ease the search process and find the most suitable property.

Don’t let the opportunity to invest and build equity pass you by. Team up with an experienced broker and find the perfect condo today!

10 Tips to Know Before Buying in Chicago

Luxury Living Chicago Realty’s brokers are here to help with your home search every step of the way. Every team member is dedicated to providing personalized, professional, and prompt service. Our experienced agents share insights and recommendations of proven partners, including lenders, inspectors, and attorneys. We’ll ensure exceptional service for all your real estate needs. If you’re just getting started with the buying process, we’ve rounded up 10 helpful tips from our team:

Getting Started

#1) “Start early and take your time. Chicago’s housing market has limited inventory and if you’re trying to time a lease you could get stuck with a home you either don’t love, or worse, have to move into your parent’s basement. While overlapping rent and mortgage can pose a short-term challenge, the long-term benefits are almost always worth it.” – Jake Tasharki

#2) “Make sure you speak to a lender first and foremost.  It’s imperative to speak to the “financial part of the equation first.”  Ask someone you know what lender they have used.  Ask your current real estate agent who he recommends.  I’d recommend comparing both lenders; your friend/family referral and your agents’ recommendation.  Tell the agent in layman’s terms your ideal plan because  not everyone is destined for 10% with a 30 year loan.  Lenders also have first-time buyer programs and they view you as a long-term client.  Get a feeling for pricing and budget and then go to your real estate agent.  Much easier if you tell your real estate agent your budget then them telling you what it should be.” – Sam Kahn

#3) “Don’t let a large down payment scare you from becoming a homeowner. Many people are unaware that you can buy a home with a down payment of less than 20%. There are lenders that offer loans with down payments of 5% or less. It is important to discuss your budget and goals with your lender to see all of the loan options available and determine what will work best for your situation. If a buyer puts less than 20% down they will be responsible for Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) which is an additional expense that certainly needs to be considered, but even with PMI the numbers will often make sense for buyers that would otherwise be priced out.” – Riely Joosten

Remember the Big Picture

#4) “Make your mark. Remember that this will be your own home, so little cosmetic things can be changed to your liking: paint, counters, cabinets, doors, flooring etc. can become a statement of your personality and taste so do not let a bright or ugly color deter you from a solid investment opportunity.” – Spencer Terry

#5) “Be realistic. Take a deep look into your long-term financial and personal goals to see if buying makes sense. Your first home purchase will most likely not be your last and while it doesn’t need to be your dream home, make sure you are planning ahead with a home that will suit your needs 3-5+ years down the road.” – Travis Smith

#6) “Don’t write off small improvements as large and costly projects. No home is perfect and everyone has different tastes. If the home is very appealing to many buyers you can bet you’re going to pay a premium. Part of the fun in being a homeowner is putting your stamp on your own home. Don’t pay for someone else’s upgrades, which you may not care for in the near future anyway. Things like paint, hardware, and flooring are often low cost for high impact/return.” – Jake Tasharki

Find a Team You Can Trust

#7) “Shop around and ask questions. Talk to multiple mortgage companies and real estate agents. You want to make sure you can connect on a personal level, as trust and communication are paramount when you take on the biggest purchase of your life.” – Travis Smith

#8) “Trust your resources.  A lender specializes financing.  A real estate attorney specializes it contract, disclosure, document language.  A real estate agent specializes in finding you the best home that suits your needs.  Many times my clients love working with me because I have like-minded individuals that specialized in their craft working alongside me. The more you can narrow down what information you get from certain partners throughout this process, the better.  Go to Sam for finding the home.  Go to Mike for the numbers.  Go to Adam to make sure everything legally is covered for you.  That way you can focus on falling in love with a home.” – Sam Kahn

#9) “Home-buying is a massive investment and huge undertaking so it’s important to not let your emotions take hold. Partner with a broker who will take the time to sit down with you 3-6 months ahead of time to outline your goals, the entire buying process, and current climate of the market. It’s critical to align and refine realistic parameters and a sensible budget ahead of time; otherwise you are setting yourself up for headache and heartbreak. Extra points in finding a broker that will be candid about their professional opinion even if it’s not necessarily what you want to hear.”  – Jake Tasharki

Making an Offer

#10) “When you’ve found “the one” and are ready to make an offer, consult with your broker to determine a fair opening bid. This should be based on what you believe the property is truly worth and what you can afford. Many buyers’ first instinct is to submit an offer far below market value. This strategy often offends the seller and will not work when inventory is low.” – Vanessa Kanavos

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