Things to consider while buying condominium

Before acquiring a condominium unit, study the rules and ensure that you can live within the regulations set by all the owners.   PHOTO/Rachel Mabala

What you need to know:

While initiating the process of owning a condominium unit, you should acquaint yourself with the rules governing the complex.  It is important to check that the client is comfortable with the rules stipulated and can abide by them.

People have started opting for condominiums because there is less stress involved when one buys and moves into a finished home.  Condominium housing is a building or complex of buildings containing a number of individually owned apartments or houses. Although there are several condominiums on the market many people are yet to embrace the concept mainly because they hardly understand how it works.

Henry Mutyaba, a property manager explains some of the first things a buyer should focus on while buying a condominium and these include:

Rules of the condo

“While initiating the process of owning a condominium unit you should inquire about the rules governing it and if they are acceptable to you,” says Mutyaba.  Condos tend to have so many rules because  there are several owners.

“While buying you have to know if the community you are going to stay in allows things such as pets because some condos have strict no pet policies. It would be disappointing to seal the deal only to find that your pets are not allowed,” he says

Condos can be a good first investment. Multiunit condos, however, are one of the best ways to start investing in today’s market. Owners who can live in one unit and rent the others out will find that this particular strategy simultaneously reduces risk and increases cash flow. If for nothing else, it’s entirely possible to pay off the entire mortgage with other people’s money, all while building equity in a physical property.

Insurance coverage

According to Mutyaba, buying a condominium requires one to get an insurance policy.  Find out exactly what is covered so that you do not incur more costs which are not budgeted for.

“Have your  lawyers take a look at the policy to make sure that it is right and fair to you,,” he says

There are policies that cover everything including our personal belongings in case of any damage or loss of the property.

Monthly association fees

Before signing that deed, first agree on standard amount of monthly dues because in most cases condominiums are not paid off at once and some are booked when they are still under construction.

“Knowing the amount you are expected to pay monthly helps you to budget for the time you are supposed to take to complete the payment and where a discount is offered, you can also go for it,” he says

Some unscrupulous property developers have been known to shift goals at the last minute by increasing the monthly payments in order to get more profit. 

“You have to get your hands on a breakdown of the monthly dues you will be responsible for. Make sure you can truly afford this extra payment, and that you understand what you’re getting for this payment,” he says.

Mutyaba says that some property managers promise their residents low dues as a way to lure them into buying the properties without disclosing the full fees involved in the maintenance of the property. 


Before diving into the process of buying a condo, it is imperative to thoughtfully decide whether or not investing in condos or living in a condo is the right fit. Homeowners will want to consider the difference between living in a stand-alone property compared to a condo.

The first major lifestyle change will have to do with sharing walls, common areas, and facilities with multiple neighbors. However, a trade-off is the prospect of having access to amenities, a possibly more convenient location, and not having to take care of chores like yard maintenance.

Financially, although a condo may offer a more affordable purchase price, the buyer should be aware of homeowner association dues.

In addition to the unit that you own, you also co-own other spaces such as fitness facilities, a swimming pool, theater or entertainment room, barbecue areas, and other value-added services that you would not otherwise afford as a single homeowner. The above luxuries have to be paid for so that they are well-maintained. The money also funds future projects and unforeseen emergencies.


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