Condo Buying Guide: Finding Good Deals on Condos
Like most buyers, you’re probably interested in finding a good deal on a condo. Here are a few tips to help you find the best deals.
Location, Location, Location
The old real estate saying, "Location, location, location" holds true for condos. A development’s location has a significant effect on its price. Almost any Manhattan condominium, for example, is likely to be extremely expensive. In many metropolitan areas, the price per square foot can be in the thousands of dollars. A little flexibility can help you land a better deal.
It’s helpful to review real estate statistics, including recent and long-term trends, when looking for a good deal. Real estate search websites like Trulia, Zillow and Realtor.com have lots of tools that provide buyers and sellers with valuable information regarding specific markets and trends. In general, buyers can find better deals in markets where prices have been in a downtrend. If prices have been in an uptrend, sellers will be at the advantage. (See 6 Things Every Real Estate Pro Knows.)
Real Estate Professionals
An experienced real estate professional who is very familiar with a specific market or geographic region can offer advice and help you find reasonably priced units. They know which developments have special promotions and can provide information regarding the development's monthly fees. In addition, they’re often able to negotiate a better price on a unit than you could on your own.
Good deals can often be found if you’re willing to compromise on location, unit size or amenities. A development that’s one block from the ocean may be much cheaper than a similar one that’s oceanfront. Similarly, a condo located just outside of the business district, as opposed to downtown, will likely cost less. Real estate agents often suggest that you make a wish list that includes must-have features as well as those you’re willing to compromise on. A buyer may, for example, be willing to live one block away from the ocean in exchange for an on-site swimming pool and tennis court complex.