September 25, 2007

Truths about Today's Condos

Being a buyer in a market like the greater Nashville area where there is a significant amount of both new-build and conversion condominium developments means there is an array of community styles, locations, floor plans, amenities and upgrades available for a variety of lifestyles. With so many lifestyle options, buyers may find this makes selecting their dream home easier, while others face a slew of headaches deciphering how competitive properties compare.
As many of these communities begin to market and open for sales in the early stages of construction, buyers are being prompted to make buying decisions based on a brochure of renderings and feature sheets, rather than touring the actual residence, walking the floor plan and seeing the finishes first hand. So before you begin your search to see what community is best for you, here's a few insider tips can save you time and money and allow for a smoother transaction.

  1. The Truth About Touring the Models & Browsing Web Sites. Considering working with a Realtor? You must be accompanied by a Realtor the very first time you register at the property and provide them with any personal information, otherwise you forfeit your right to representation. The same is true when browsing and requesting information on properties online, some web sites do ask if you are working with a Realtor and others do not, which can also impact your ability to have Realtor representation when purchasing.
  2. Read The Disclaimers . Many condominium developments create marketing materials and renderings before a project is under construction, so if you fall in love with a design element shown in a brochure rendering, read the fine print and understand that many elements of a community can be subject to change. Don't be afraid to ask in-depth questions about the final product. Consulting a Realtor can help determine what questions you should be asking and a Realtor can be a great sounding board.
  3. What's The Real Price? Many condominiums advertise a starting price point, but to get the upgrades and amenities that best fit your lifestyle, the price may grow substantially. Consulting a Realtor experienced in condominium buying can help you understand the price point package offered by each community and what your budget will realistically buy you.
  4. Know The Timeframes. Most condominium developments can only begin construction when a designated number of residences have been sold. This means your home can be move-in ready much sooner or later than you anticipated. It is important that if you are working with a Realtor, they stay on top of this timeframe to coordinate the sale of your existing home and provide a smooth transition into your new home.
  5. The Final Product. If a development is not complete yet, it can be difficult to envision the view each residence will have and how livable a floor plan really is. A Realtor can give you valuable insight on how your new home will actually turn out.

Being a well-educated buyer and understanding that purchasing a condominium under development can require some flexibility can make for a flawless shopping experience with no surprises. Consulting a Realtor as a means to better understand competitive products and navigate the details of a purchase contract. A Realtor can also take the time to get know your lifestyle and needs to make sure the community where you purchase is right for you.

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