Your Guide to Buying a Condo in Salt Lake City

If mowing a lawn and shoveling snow aren’t part of your American dream, then you’ve probably considered buying a condo. Condos in Salt Lake City can offer great amenities, and many are located close to restaurants, shopping, and entertainment.

Here are a few steps to take when selecting and buying a condo in the land of Zion.

1.  Choose the perfect team. The first step in finding your new condo is selecting the right team for you. Your team is made up of two key players, your real estate agent and your lender. Your real estate agent will guide you through every step of the process, from  helping you define your needs, to researching properties, to helping you negotiate a purchase contract. Your lender will explain your options for different loan products and payment options, and talk you through the loan process.

2. Get pre-qualified for a mortgage. Unless you’re one of the few that can pay cash for your new condo you’ll need to get a loan. If you’re unsure which lender to go to, ask friends and family who they used to get their mortgage, or ask your real estate agent for a good referral. Remember, interest rates are at historic lows, which means you’ll be getting more bang for your hard-earned buck.

3.  Consider exactly what your needs are. Will you need an elevator? Do you have to have secure parking? How about a pool or hot tub? Usually, the more amenities a condo offers, the higher the price and monthly association fees. Salt Lake has a great variety of condos from loft style units like Broadway Lofts and Uffens Marketplace to luxury residences like The Meridien and Maple Heights. You’ll want to visit Saltlakedigs.com for information about which Salt Lake condos have amenities that will suit your needs.

4.  Make sure the location is right for you. Do you need to live close to a TRAX station or freeway access? Do you want to avoid high-traffic areas? Would you like to walk to your favorite dog park or market? Narrow your search to the area or areas that work best for you.

5.  Find out what’s available. Your real estate agent will be able to help you determine which condos are available in your price range and target area.

6.  Take a look at the condos you feel suit your needs. Getting inside the building will give you a sense of whether or not you’ll feel at home. At any given time there are hundreds of condo units available in Salt Lake City, so you’ll want to start off viewing the units that have most of your must-have features. Be sure to take a look at the parking, storage, and other amenities while you’re there.

7.  Investigate the Home Owners Association. If you think you’ve found the right condo, do a little investigating to make sure there won’t be any surprises after you close. Your real estate agent can provide you with a copy of the rules and regulations of the HOA. Make sure there are no deal-breakers like age or pet restrictions, or future rental limitations. You should also ask to see recent HOA meeting minutes. This will give you an idea of what the hot issues are, and make you aware of any assessments that may be coming up.

8.  Find out what your association dues cover. Above and beyond your monthly mortgage payment most condos have monthly dues that generally cover building maintenance and repair, insurance, sewer, water, and garbage removal. They can also include things like heating, security, cable television, and internet. Some buyers look at HOA dues as money that’s being thrown away, which is far from the truth. Costs of roof repairs, foundation issues, insurance, and removing all that Utah snow from your driveway can really add up when you own your own single family home. With a condo, you’re sharing those costs with the other members of the HOA, which can add up to quite a savings.

9.  Make an offer, close the deal and move in! This sounds simple, and it can be with the right team. Just make sure you allow time in your contract to do the proper inspections to make sure this is right condo choice for you.

 

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