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Check the following before buying a condo

Check the following before buying a condo


  • Ask about the “foreigner’s quota” of the condo. It’s important for you to know whether you can purchase a unit in your own name. Make contact with members of the condo administration. See if they give out information willingly.
  • Each condo has its owners’ administration, and once a year there should be an owners’ meeting. It is a legal requirement that minutes are being kept of the administration meetings as well as of the owners’ meetings. Take a look at these to gain an insight into the actual problems of a particular condo and the ways those problems are being solved.
  • Read the condominium law. Read the house rules of the condo. They are an official document which can be scrutinized at the land department. Check whether the house rules are being observed.
  • Talk to as many residents as possible who are not involved in the administration.
  • Ask for the condo’s balance sheets which should be signed by a professional accountant.
  • Make inquiries about maintenance work and what is being done to maintain the condo in good condition.
  • Is there a sinking fund, and is it sufficient?
  • Check the condo’s insurance policy regarding commonly owned buildings and areas (these do not cover fixtures and installations within a condo unit).
  • What is the annual owners’ contribution to the cost of maintaining the building (maintenance fee)?
  • Check all security measures and installations.
  • Can someone be contacted at any time should there be an emergency?
  • Is the condo well secured, or can anybody walk in without being checked? Is the area around the rubbish bins clean? How often is rubbish being collected?
  • What kind of telecommunication systems are in place? This is most important for internet users. Not all internet services are available in all areas. What costs can be expected?
  • Which companies provide cable-TV services? Is it possible to install satellite dishes?
  • What are the charges for electricity and water?
  • What communal facilities are there, and what is their condition?
  • Are these facilities open to non-residents?
  • Looking at the building can you detect empty lots or old buildings, where some day new structures could be erected that could block your view?
  • The parking area is usually common property and there should be no specific allocation of parking spots.
  • Check how long you have to wait for a lift during holiday periods.
  • How many units of the condo are empty?
  • How many units are currently offered for sale or rent?
  • If the condo administration offers a sales or rental service, what are the costs of this service and what does it comprise?

As checklists go, this one, too, does not pretend to be complete, but it represents a good start so that one can feel comfortable even outside one’s own four walls.