How to Choose Your Charleston, South Carolina Condo

Jan 29 08:09 2009 Lee Keadle Print This Article

Lee Keadle

Many home buyers look for condos because of their low maintenance.  If you’re looking for a second home,Guest Posting condos are a great way to ensure that you’ll be able to enjoy your stay, without the headache of constant upkeep.  Condo owners enjoy little to no maintenance living, since they are only responsible for keeping up the inside of their condo (and their porch or stoop, if they have one).  Maintenance of the landscaping, exterior of the building, parking areas, and amenities is covered under the monthly condo regime fee.  Insurance for the building is usually also included in this fee, so condo owners generally only have to insure their personal belongings – which is a low yearly fee of about $150. 

When it comes to choosing a condo in Charleston, there are 3 points that you should consider for resale value down the road.     

1)  Location is a major factor that affects condos more than other real estate (such as houses).  Buyers generally want a good location – and they’re willing to give up a larger home to get a smaller place that has a good proximity to everything.  In Charleston, the best areas to consider are James Island, Mt. Pleasant, and West Ashley.  Although you can certainly find condos in areas further out (such as Summerville), most of the buyers in those markets are looking for houses.  So, be sure to buy a condo that’s in a desirable location.  This is one of the most important factors to consider.

2)  Regime fees in Charleston can vary drastically, depending on what they include.  Most regimes range from about $200 to $500 per month, which can really affect the affordability of your new home!  So, it’s important to know what a community’s regime fee is (and what it includes) before you go look at condos for sale in it.

Regime fees are usually correlated with the new-ness and nice-ness of the overall neighborhood and amenities.  So, if you’re looking for a low regime fee and you can go without all the bells and whistles (such as a pool, club house, workout facility, grilling area, etc.), be sure to talk with your real estate agent about options for lower monthly fees.  He or she should be able to recommend neighborhoods that fit your monthly budget.  For example, Meridian Place on James Island has some of the lowest regime fees in the area.  Although they’re technically townhouses, they’re often listed as condos because of their general setup.  Their fees are $60 per month, which includes lawn maintenance and irrigation, termite bond, exterior maintenance of the home, and upkeep of the tennis court and walking trails.  Owners get their own insurance policy, which means they get to shop around and find the best price.

3)  Age of the condo is not something that most people think about when buying.  However, it can cause a lot of problems for some condo owners when they go to sell their home years later.  Many condo communities that were built in the ‘70s or ‘80s are now needing renovations (such as new roofs, siding, etc.) and are undergoing assessments to pay for these updates.  Depending on how the neighborhood’s regime is set up, this can cost homeowners thousands of dollars.  Regime companies who looked to the future set up an account so that, over time, a portion of the fees go to pay for such costs when they come up. 

However, you’ll find that many condo communities are now asking their home owners to pay quite a bit for renovations and other problems that come up.  So, be sure to ask how the regime is set up.  You should be able to get a break down in percentages of how the company spends the regime fees they collect.  This is usually called a prorating statement.  Look at this statement before you buy to make sure the company is setting aside money for the future.  That way you see how much they’re spending today and how much they’re saving for future maintenance.  This point applies especially to older condos, but it’s important to know your regime company’s setup for newer condos, too. 

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Lee Keadle
Lee Keadle

You can search all Charleston SC condos for sale on Lee’s website.  You can also search by areas such as Mt. Pleasant SC condos and James Island SC condos!

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