An exciting new step is in front of you! You’ve already pictured coming home to your new condo, relaxing on the sofa after a day of work, daydreaming about the gourmet meals you’ll cook up in the kitchen, or imagining the people you’ll entertain on your patio.
When put like that, condo life sounds like a whole lot of fun. But before you buy new furniture or send out the invitations to your housewarming party, you have to find the perfect condo.
Luckily, with the many options for condos in DC, there’s one that’s perfect for you. Here are seven factors to consider when looking for your new condo in Washington, DC.
1. Location Is Everything
One factor that’s always important when looking for a condo is where it’s located. DC might not be large in area, but it has many neighborhoods with distinct personalities. So, it’s important to consider what you want to have around your condo.
Do you want to be around a lot of restaurants and shops in Adams Morgan, or have a quiet neighborhood feel in Kalorama? Do you want to be close to public transportation, or would you prefer to walk everywhere when living in DC?
Keep in mind what other developments are in the area, what the view is like, and if the neighborhood is on the upswing. You might even get lucky enough to snag a larger, renovated condo in an up-and-coming area that will appreciate significantly faster than a neighborhood that’s already established. So, keep what’s outside your doors in mind when choosing your condo.
2. Choose Your Amenities Wisely
All those little extras really add up. They can make or break your condo experience, so choose them wisely. The most common condo amenities desired amongst buyers today include rooftops with views and recreation, gyms, swimming pools, party rooms, concierge services, and parking.
You should consider what amenities you’ll want and which ones you’ll use. If you’re not interested in working out, take the gym off your list. But if laying out in the summer is important to you, a rooftop with a pool could be a personal must.
Remember, when there are more amenities, the condo fees are generally higher. So, if you don’t want to pay for a bunch of extras, keep the amenities to a minimum.
3. Size Does Matter
When it comes to a condo, the size matters. The square footage of your condo affects everything from the way you decorate to how you live in the space every day. The floor space of your condo matters, especially when it comes to furnishing your unit.
Whether you’re bringing furniture over from an old place or buying all new furniture, you’ll want to keep the square footage in mind. The last thing you want is to move in and realize your sofa and dining room table don’t fit.
If you’re buying pre-construction and can’t go inside the unit, you need to be extra vigilant with the square footage and layout. Make sure the size is communicated clearly so there aren’t any unwanted surprises.
4. Rules and Restrictions
Every condo building is different, and the rules and restrictions will change with every property. While condos have more freedom than apartments, they don’t have as much freedom as purchasing a home.
Pet restrictions are common in condo buildings. There may be size or weight restrictions on pets, or living with pets might not be allowed at all. Some condos allow you to renovate to your liking, and with others, you’ll need to get permission.
While you’re looking for a condo, be sure to ask what restrictions may impact your day-to-day life. You don’t want to be blindsided after signing the contract.
5. Lead with Your Lifestyle
You’ll want to consider your lifestyle before moving into an apartment. Condos feature a stress-free lifestyle with little to no maintenance required of the residents. Mowing the lawn and trimming the hedges are often taken care of. So, if you prefer hands-off maintenance, a condo is a great option.
You should also consider what having close neighbors will be like for you. If you’re looking for more privacy or want to entertain into the late hours of the night, then a condo with close neighbors probably isn’t for you. Keep in mind the lifestyle you want and if a condo can support that.
6. Look for FHA-Approved
Choosing a mortgage for a condo will not only take into account your personal finances but also the finances and operations of the condo building. FHA loans can be good options for first-time homebuyers because they offer low down payments, lenient credit score requirements, and higher debt-to-income ratios.
However, not all condos are FHA approved. It’s not a requirement for a good condo to be FHA-approved, but searching for an FHA-approved condo can save you time and money and make your search a bit easier.
7. Get to Know the Property Management Company
This is something that many condo buyers don’t think to do. But, researching the property management company in advance will help you for the duration you’re living in the condo.
The property management company is usually in charge of the upkeep and maintenance of the property. It’s who you’ll go to if there are issues. Do some research on what the property management company handles in your building.
On your tour, you can ask who is in charge of day-to-day maintenance, who handles residential requests, and what rules they enforce. It would also be a good idea to do research on the company’s reputation with current and previous residents.
Find the Perfect Condos in DC
You deserve a space you love coming home to. That’s why you have to consider these seven factors when looking for your new condo. It may be hard to compare prices, features, and location, but it’s much easier when you know what you’re looking for.
Now that you know what to look for in your new condo, it’s time to get searching. Put these tips to use, and you’ll find the perfect condo. Whether you’re looking for a cozy home for your family or an entertainers’ paradise, there are condos in DC for everyone.
Are you looking for a condo in Washington DC? Allow us to help you find your new dream home.