Best-selling author, real estate expert and "Extra's" Mansions and Millionaires host Michael Corbett gives you some hot tips on the best ways to buy a home -- all from his new book, "Before You Buy!"
This week's tips:
#1: You're not just buying a condo, you're buying a building -- and you want to make sure that it is a healthy building. "I'm talking about financial health. Make sure you and your realtor review the condo building's financials," Corbett suggests. "If the financial profile seems shaky, or if additional assessments for big-ticket items -- like new elevators or windows or a large-scale lobby redecoration -- are needed, no matter how great a deal you think you may be getting on the price, you'll still have to be kicking in extra money in the form of assessments to bear the cost of the building's ailing finances."
#2: The condo question you must ask before you buy: Has there been any discussion of possible future improvements, changes, renovations, or maintenance or any financial difficulties that would result in an assessment or charges to be leveraged against all condo owners? Make sure to get the answer in writing. The reason this question is critical is that the condo association board must answer honestly or it could be held liable. All condo meetings must provide notes that can be subpoenaed, so any discussion of assessments, current or future, could be proven.
#3: Check out the parking before you buy a condo. If you drive a large vehicle such as an SUV or minivan, make sure it will fit into the assigned parking spaces for the condo or co-op unit you want to buy. Imagine spending all your money on your great new condo, and then having to go out and buy a new smaller car!
For more tips and guidelines, check out Corbett's book "Before You Buy!" on Amazon.com.