Pros and Cons When Buying a Condo

Condo insurance is specifically designed to provide coverage for condominium owners.

Unlike the owner of a single-family home, a single-unit condominium owner does not need coverage for the entire building, instead, just their unit. (Typically, condo owners are also required to pay into a Master Policy as well that covers common areas of the building- but more on this below.)

The Basics of Condo Insurance

Condo insurance typically includes the following protection in the event of a covered claim:

  • Dwelling Coverage
  • Contents/Personal Property Coverage
  • Loss of Use Coverage
  • Personal Liability Coverage
  • Medical Payments

Dwelling Coverage for a condo owner covers structural improvements to the inside of the unit (typically from the studs of the walls, in) in the event of a covered claim. This is unlike the dwelling coverage in a standard homeowners policy which provides coverage for the entire home (interior and exterior). The amount of dwelling coverage needed varies for condos and is based on the construction type of the condo. For example, a condo with standard, building grade materials might need $30,000 worth of coverage while a unit with upgraded appliances, wood floors and granite counter tops might need $100,000 worth of coverage. A home insurance agent can best help you determine your coverage.

Contents Coverage or Personal Property Coverage for a condo policy covers your personal belongings inside the unit including (but not limited to) furniture, clothing, electronics, etc. However, there are typically limits for each item and you can schedule an endorsement on your policy if you have any one item that exceeds those limits and needs extended coverage. For example, a standard condo policy typically has a maximum payout of $1500 for jewelry. If the value of your jewelry exceeds that limit you can schedule an endorsement (or rider) to protect specific valuable pieces.

Loss of Use Coverage protects a condo owner in the event that their condo is damaged in a covered claim and they must seek shelter elsewhere while it is being repaired. Loss of use coverage helps pay for room and board, dining, dry cleaning, etc. while you are unable to reside in your condo.

Personal Liability Coverage protects a condo owner in the event they are involved in a lawsuit where they, or an immediate family member who also lives in the condo, are being sued for bodily harm or property damage they have caused. Most policies typically carry a minimum of $100,000 in personal liability coverage, however, those limits can be increased.

Medical Payments Coverage, also known as MedPay, is a coverage that protects a condo owner in the event someone is injured in their condo and the condo owner wants to pay the medical bills. For example, if a friends slips in your kitchen and requires medical attention, your MedPay would pay for the medical bills up to the limits in your policy. Medical payments coverage is only for a situation where a lawsuit is not involved and carries limits like all other coverage options. Most condo policies have medical payments coverage of up to $2,000 per incident but that can be increased.

Condo owners also typically are required to pay into a Master Policywhich covers the shared areas of the condominium building. The master policy covers areas of the building such as hallways, the roof, the laundry room, basement, entry ways and stairwells.

The above information is being provided as a courtesy as guidance to many of the questions that have been received. Chant |
| The seller should deliver all keys and garage door openers to the settlement agent at the time a signed deed to the property is delivered. The buyer gets the keys at the end of the closing, after all documents are signed and all monies have been paid.

Usually condos do not have individual door delivery by the Post Office, but have a cluster of mailboxes set up for the neighborhood. The seller’s mailbox key is turned back to the nearest Post Office (not to the buyer), and the buyer’s mailbox key is obtained at the same Post Office, after closing. The Post Office will re-key the box so that the seller’s key no longer works. To get the key from the Post Office you will need to have a copy of your settlement statement and money for a deposit to get the key.
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| The seller should deliver all keys and garage door openers to the settlement agent at the time a signed deed to the property is delivered. The buyer gets the keys at the end of the closing, after all documents are signed and all monies have been paid.

Usually condos do not have individual door delivery by the Post Office, but have a cluster of mailboxes set up for the neighborhood. The seller’s mailbox key is turned back to the nearest Post Office (not to the buyer), and the buyer’s mailbox key is obtained at the same Post Office, after closing. The Post Office will re-key the box so that the seller’s key no longer works. To get the key from the Post Office you will need to have a copy of your settlement statement and money for a deposit to get the key.
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The seller should deliver all keys and garage door openers to the settlement agent at the time a signed deed to the property is delivered.  The buyer gets the keys at the end of the closing, after all documents are signed and all monies have been paid.
 
Usually condos do not have individual door delivery by the Post Office, but have a cluster of mailboxes set up for the neighborhood.  The seller’s mailbox key is turned back to the nearest Post Office (not to the buyer), and the buyer’s mailbox key is obtained at the same Post Office, after closing.  The Post Office will re-key the box so that the seller’s key no longer works.   To get the key from the Post Office you will need to have a copy of your settlement statement and money for a deposit to get the key.
 
The answers given above have been prepared by the law firm of Jones & Walker, P.C. of Virginia Beach as general guidelines to common questions.  These answers do not constitute specific legal advice.  For a fuller explanation of many aspects of real estate sales and purchases, visit Jones & Walker’s website: www.jonesandwalker.com

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Trying to decide whether to buy a Condo or Single family dwelling?

Here are some helpful tips to ensure a knowledgeable decision is made.

Pro’s:
~ Exterior Maintenance is handled by the condominium association
~ Parking space is deeded to you in a secure location
~ No upkeep to worry about, vacation at your leisure
~ Often condos are conveniently located around office buildings, entertainment and shopping districts.
Con’s:
~ Home owner dues are hard to keep low as maintenance cost are rising.
~ Dues are counted as part of your debt to income ratio.
~ All decisions are made in association with your neighbors.
~ Elevators are noisy, there may be poor soundproofing with in the condominium association.
~ Condos provide less privacy than single family homes

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The seller should deliver all keys and garage door openers to the settlement agent at the time a signed deed to the property is delivered.  The buyer gets the keys at the end of the closing, after all documents are signed and all monies have been paid.
 
Usually condos do not have individual door delivery by the Post Office, but have a cluster of mailboxes set up for the neighborhood.  The seller’s mailbox key is turned back to the nearest Post Office (not to the buyer), and the buyer’s mailbox key is obtained at the same Post Office, after closing.  The Post Office will re-key the box so that the seller’s key no longer works.   To get the key from the Post Office you will need to have a copy of your settlement statement and money for a deposit to get the key.
 
The answers given above have been prepared by the law firm of Jones & Walker, P.C. of Virginia Beach as general guidelines to common questions.  These answers do not constitute specific legal advice.  For a fuller explanation of many aspects of real estate sales and purchases, visit Jones & Walker’s website: www.jonesandwalker.com

|
|

Trying to decide whether to buy a Condo or Single family dwelling?

Here are some helpful tips to ensure a knowledgeable decision is made.

Pro’s:
~ Exterior Maintenance is handled by the condominium association
~ Parking space is deeded to you in a secure location
~ No upkeep to worry about, vacation at your leisure
~ Often condos are conveniently located around office buildings, entertainment and shopping districts.
Con’s:
~ Home owner dues are hard to keep low as maintenance cost are rising.
~ Dues are counted as part of your debt to income ratio.
~ All decisions are made in association with your neighbors.
~ Elevators are noisy, there may be poor soundproofing with in the condominium association.
~ Condos provide less privacy than single family homes
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