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Thinking of buying a condo? Here's what you should know

You've been renting an apartment for the last few years, saving up money to put a down payment on your own place. You're finally ready to own instead of rent.

You want to be where the action is, where the nightlife is good and you have plenty of choices for happy hour. The new condos over by the Pearl Brewery seem like a good choice. You'll be on the edge of downtown San Antonio, close to North St. Mary's but still with easy access to South Town.

You're more interested in purchasing a condo over a single-family home, but you're wondering if it's still the right choice for you.

Purchasing real estate of any kind is a complicated process that requires credit checks, choosing the right lender, making a down payment, and selecting the best property. Don't do this on your own. Contact a local San Antonio attorney with experience in real estate law to ensure your interests are protected.

Read below to learn about buying a condominium in Texas.

Is a condo right for you?

A condominium might be the best choice for you. One of the reasons is that they tend to appreciate at a slower rate than single-family homes. This makes them a more affordable choice, especially when home prices are on the rise.

Since you will actually own the condo, instead of renting, you can take tax deductions on your property such as mortgage interest expense and property taxes.

Keep in mind that while you will purchase your unit for a certain price, you will also be subjected to monthly maintenance fees. These fees are for the upkeep of the property and the common areas.

If you don't want to deal with the maintenance of a yard, be responsible for roof repairs, or other types of chores that come with owning a house, a condominium may be right for you.

Also, since condos tend to be less expensive, owning one may provide you with a future opportunity to purchase a second property, such as a vacation condominium on the beach.

What is the condo sales contract like?

In addition to the typical items included in a sales contract, such as title fees, condos also require an agreement that dictates how the condo operates and how the owners' association governs it.

Before you purchase, request and read these documents so that you know what to expect as a resident. For example, does your condominium owners' association (COA) have any strict rules that you don't agree with? How much does the condo keep in the reserve fund? How are complaints and requests handled?

You need to get a feel for the operating of the condo and whether or not the rules will allow you to live the lifestyle you want so that you can avoid COA disputes.

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