Community Real Estate Condo Buying HOA

-8 Condo Buying Tips for Florida Seniors-   

Millions of seniors call Florida home, which is why our real estate team is celebrating Older Americans Month by providing Florida condo buying tips for seniors, retirees, and snowbirds.

According to 2019 data, there were 4.5 million adults aged 65 and older in Florida. For those of us living in the Greater Tampa Bay, we enjoy a wide selection of home styles and gorgeous community options, including countless condos, luxury villas, and spacious townhomes.

Checklist for Buying a Condominium in the Tampa Bay Area

As specialists in senior downsizing, we often help homebuyers transition from single-family homes to Florida condo communities across Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Pasco counties.

Depending on where you are from and your past experiences in home ownership, you may be new to buying a home connected to a Homeowners Association or HOA.  To make the transition as seamless as possible, here are items for your condo buying checklist.

  1. Well-Maintained Unit: No one wants to be making costly repairs or updates on a fixed income. Browse updated units with features for senior living, such as new appliances, great lighting, grab bars in bathrooms, skid-proof flooring, and working elevators.
  2. Good Exterior Condition: You are buying into the entire community, which is why it is important to evaluate the surroundings, such as walkways, exterior lighting, and common areas. Also, consider if there is an unusually high number of units for sale, as this may signal potential issues to review during the buying process.
  3. Accessible Parking and Storage: What’s the parking situation? Will you have a garage or carport for your vehicle? Find out if there is convenient parking for guests or special parking for deliveries. Also, determine if there are excess storage areas for owners.
  4. Available Amenities: Think about those wonderful amenities of condo life. If socializing is an interest, consider a home in a 55+ community, which often offers recreational activities along with landscaping, pools, tennis, golf, and maintenance services.
  5. Affordable Condo Fees: Determine that you will be able to afford the condo fees or assessment costs. Homeowner associations may require HOA fees to be paid monthly for shared costs such as maintenance of community amenities, utilities, exteriors, roofs, landscaping, pool maintenance, tree trimming, pest control, and insurance.
  6. Insurance Coverage: A portion of HOA fees typically go to exterior building coverage and flood insurance; however, most condo owners will need to purchase separate insurance to cover the unit, interiors, and contents.  Our network of Tampa Bay area insurance experts can help answer your questions about coverage options.
  7. Financial Standing of HOA: Request HOA records and verify the professionalism of the HOA management company. Our real estate team has a trusted list of financial and legal referrals to help customers review HOA budgets, costs, projections, reserves, arrears, outstanding debts, or legal issues.
  8. Rules and Regulations: Each community comes with its own set of bylaws, rules, and ordinances. This goes beyond the color of your front door or the due date for condo fees. Owners may also be restricted with rules for renting out units or having certain pets. Reviewing documents upfront will ensure you make the right decisions for living out your retirement dreams in a fantastic Florida condo.

We are excited to help you begin this new chapter of Florida life.  Contact Dick and Karla Nielsen at 813-294-5786 for expert advice on downsizing, buying, or selling your home.