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Buying a condominium is a big step for most people, and there are many aspects to consider. Here are just a few of the many questions I have heard:

How are West Seattle condos different from regular houses?
Condos and regular houses have some aspects in common, but also many differences:

  • With houses, the buyer generally owns 100% of the home and land, but when a person buys a condominium, they then own 100% "inside the envelope". In other words, they own 100% of what is inside of the exterior walls of their unit, and a percentage of the exterior and "common areas" of the whole building. The practical way of also looking at this is that the buyer is responsible for what is inside of their unit, but if something needs repair on the outside, such as a roof, siding, walkways, parking areas, and usually windows, then the HOA (Home Owners Association) will pay to fix it. The monthly HOA fees that all the units pay funds this account for the repairs.
  • HOA (Home Owners Association) - This includes documents that all the condo owners in the building have agreed to that sets out exactly how repairs are handled and other aspects. There are also documents that state who the people are that decide these matters, such as the condo president and board members. I always suggest to my condo clients that they join the condo board right away, so they can then take part in the decision making process and the budget and such.
  • The land that the condominium building sits on is owned jointly by all the condo owners.
  • There are commonly owned areas that everyone also owns jointly, such as walkways, pools, elevators, hallways between units, parking, rec rooms, and such. The HOA fees pay for the upkeep of these areas.

West Seattle Condos for SaleWhat else do I need to know about West Seattle condos?
Condominiums in West Seattle are a mixture of fairly new to old. And I suggest that if the condo building is especially old, that then the condominium documents need to be looked over even more carefully, as they may not have been written with the legal language that one would use today. And of course, the older the building, the closer the structure needs to be inspected by a home inspector (see below). What else do you wish to know about West Seattle condos? 

How do condos hold up as an investment?
Condos in West Seattle have been appreciating well in recent years. In fact, the trend for developers has switched to building apartments for rent, rather than condominiums. This is partly because of some expensive lawsuits lately regarding siding, windows, and such. But this is also because, since rental rates have become so high, developers can make more profit by building apartments.

So this has the effect of there being fewer condos on the market that are available to purchase, which increases demand for those available units and the prices that are paid. In fact, there is a condo shortage here in West Seattle especially. Because of these reasons, and an aging population, I see continued appreciation for West Seattle condos.

Do you only sell West Seattle condos?
West Seattle is where I live. I love it here and it is where I have my family. But I am quite familiar with most Seattle neighborhoods, and I am happy to help my clients in those areas too - Ballard, Queen Anne, Magnolia, South Seattle, Madrona, Ravenna, and Burien for example. And by the way, I also serve my client's needs for houses, townhouses, and other real estate properties. Where do you want to live?

What is your level of experience with condos?
Because I've been selling West Seattle condos and other properties for over 20 years, I have pretty much seen it all. There are many specific details about condos that I will gladly share with you. This involves negotiation, construction, HOA monthly fees, long term ownership, and many other aspects. Have you purchased a condo or other property before, or will this be your first?

Read My Buyer and Seller Reviews


"Our experience with Brent was exceptional, he goes above and beyond what is necessary or expected."
Evelyn and Frank read full review

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How do I start seeing condos for sale? Do you show them to me?
Just email me or call me (my contact info is lower on the page) and we'll talk about exactly what you're looking for and discuss your condo "wish list" in detail. Once I learn what you wish to find in a condo (or regular house), I will then email the listings to you. As we look at places, I'll offer you my insights regarding the quality of the construction and overall value. How soon shall we talk about your "wish list"?

Should I get a home inspection on a condo?
The answer is definitely yes. Even though, in most cases, the Home Owners Association (HOA) covers repairs on the exterior and common areas, a buyer still needs to know that things are in good shape. Or, if something needs repair, that it is already accounted for in the condominium budget.

And very importantly, the condo owner is responsible for the interior of their unit, so that needs to be inspected very well. A home inspection generally costs anywhere from $400 to $500. The inspector will look mostly at the "non-common" areas (inside the unit), and the "common" areas such as the roof, siding, walkways, among many other things. It is no fun finding out after the condo is purchased that costly repairs are needed.

There is a great deal more to this issue of condo inspections. I will show you how to make them work to your advantage, and my experience in countless inspections and negotiations will be to your advantage. I will gladly recommend some superb inspectors, or you can research and find your own. It is completely your choice. I want you to get a great condo that is in great shape.

What are CC&Rs and the budget on a condo?
CC&R stands for Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions. The CC&Rs for the entire building are important to be aware of, as they lay out the formal rules that everyone must follow. These can be pretty much anything under the sun, for instance it will state if there is a pet policy, and if allowed, size of dog, etc. Or about move-in and move-out days and hours allowed. It might cover pool use and many other things. I find that this can be a positive aspect, as it eliminates some of the unknowns, and that buyers can then know what to expect. Of course, if you want to be free to do pretty much anything you wish, then maybe purchasing a house would be a more applicable choice.

The condominium budget is also important, though it can be a little more difficult to wrap your head around. When repairs are expected, say a roof is starting to get old, then estimates are obtained and the budget is examined. The new roof expense must be accounted for in the budget. If there is not enough money in the budget, then it is possible that a "special assessment" would need to be created. In this case, each condo owner would be assessed a portion of the budget shortage, usually based on the square footage of their unit. I often suggest that my buyers run this budget by an accountant for their thoughts.

Hooray! When do I get the keys?
Usually the buyer gets the keys immediately after the deed is recorded at the county recorder's office, which is oftentimes around 3:00 or 4:00 in the afternoon. I will meet you at your new condo to hand you the keys! This is the most fun part of my job :-) 

What is the next step?
I encourage you to contact me. There is no obligation, and I would love to fully elaborate on all the above and any other questions you may have. When do you want to begin?
 

Contact Me Today

 
"As first time home-buyers, we are so incredibly grateful that we had Brent working with us through this process. Everything was smooth and drama-free, exactly as we wanted it to be! "
Erin and Dustin read full review

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And here are just a few of the many companies and organizations whose members I have been proud to work hard for to help them purchase and sell their homes:

With interest rates as low as they are, it is a good time to buy.

Brent Fosso
Your Great Service Realtor
Cell Phone206-371-5060
9:00am - 9:00pm - 7 Days a Week
WestSeattleBrokers.com

Email: brent@brentfosso.com

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Let's talk about West Seattle real estate.