For some people, buying a condo has distinct advantages over buying a traditional home. Many Malibu condos for sale have amenities such as beach access, swimming pools, landscaping services and included utilities, which you don’t get with a traditional home.
By investing in a Malibu condo, you also avoid the upkeep that comes with owning a single-family home: maintenance, repairs and renovations.
When looking at Malibu condos for sale, you should keep the following in mind:
Benefits of Condo Ownership
Owning a Malibu condo has benefits similar to those enjoyed by people who own Malibu single-family homes. Rental fees can change unpredictably, increasing the cost of living for those who rent apartments and single-family homes. Some changes can occur in the costs of condo ownership, especially if property taxes or insurance fees increase, but these changes are usually gradual.
Also, if you maintain your condo properly, it will increase in value over time. You will benefit from this appreciation if you decide to sell the condo in the future.
Like owning a traditional home, owning a condo also has tax advantages that can reduce your annual tax bill. As a condo owner, you can deduct the amount of interest paid on your mortgage from your taxes. You can also deduct the amount of money you paid for property taxes.
Condo Inspection and Amenities
When you take a tour of available Malibu condos for sale, check the condition of any common areas. Look for worn carpeting, flooring defects, poor lighting, lack of maintenance and other issues. These problems can decrease the value of a condo and may even pose a safety hazard to residents.
It’s best to hire a professional home inspector to check the condos systems, such as AC, plumbing, and electrical.
Extra amenities can make life much easier and more convenient for condo buyers. Before buying a condo, ask how many parking spaces come with the property. If you plan to live with a spouse or significant other, a Malibu condo with just one parking space may not meet your needs.
Determine Condo Location
Location is one of the most important considerations when looking at Malibu condos for sale. You should determine how long the commute will be from your condo to your workplace. If you have children, the condo should be a reasonable distance away from their school.
You should also consider how far the condo is from pharmacies, grocery stories, entertainment venues, parks, hospitals and banks.
Assessing Malibu Condos for Sale
Once you’ve determined that the building is in a suitable location and has your desired amenities, you need to look at several different units to determine which one is right for you.
Ask the condo representative to look at the floor plans for each available unit, as some buildings offer several different layouts. Check each unit to see if the previous owner made improvements and maintained the unit properly. If cleaning or improvements are needed, keep this in mind when making an offer.
View is another important consideration for Malibu condo buyers. If the condo has a great view, but it’s on the second or third floor of the building, future construction could obstruct the view.
Be sure to inspect financial documents of the condominium association. You want to make sure the association is solvent, and has enough financial reserves to handle day to day, as well as unscheduled maintenance, operation and repairs.
If there aren’t enough reserves, special assessments may be incurred, and this will cut into your investment profits.
Review Legal Documents
Living in a condo is much different than in single-family home in that you must adhere to bylaws and rules of the unit’s association. Make sure you read the declaration, bylaws and rules that apply to your unit’s ownership and use.
The declaration will detail your unit’s dimensions and legal status. It also informs you of the common areas, such as hallways, stairs and pool area, that are used by all condo owners, and the limited areas, such as parking, storage, and balconies that are used by a unit exclusively.
Monthly condominium fees are determined by how much percentage ownership a unit has in the association: the declaration will also inform you of the unit’s percentage in the association.
Other important things to consider:
- Whether there are any restrictions on your unit’s sale
- If the association has the right to buy the unit
- Bylaws that may restrict renting a unit
- Rules that may restrict noise, pets, and move-in and move-out policies
With all of the benefits available to condo owners, purchasing a Malibu condo can be a smart investment. Working with an experienced real estate agent can help you find the best condo for your needs and buy it for a fair price.
Russell Grether of Compass Inc is a real estate agent based out of Malibu, CA. He specializes in Malibu real estate, Malibu homes for sale, Malibu properties, Malibu land for sale, Malibu rentals and surrounding area real estate from Montecito to the Pacific Palisades.
Thinking about buying a Malibu condo? Give us a call at 310-994-4247, and we’ll help you find the perfect condo, at the best price.