There’s alot to consider when buying a condo, particularly the cost, as well as thestructural and financial state of condo building. However, thereare additional simple but practical things to ask before you buy.

 1. Arethere restrictions on pets?

Some condoshave strict rules regarding pets including: bans on particular breeds,rules on the size of a pet and restrictions on which common areas pets areallowed.

 2. Can youbarbecue on the deck?

You mightthink since this America you are free to grill year-round from the comfort ofyour own deck, but that’s not always the case. Some condo buildings don’t allowit, and some require any grilling to be done on a grill shared by the entirecondo association, so you might be waiting for hours for someone to finishsmoking a brisket, so you can grill a couple hot dogs.

 3. Can youstart a home business there?

Rulesforbidding condos from being used as music studios and metal-workingshops seem pretty reasonable, but restrictions on home businesses could impactsomething as harmless as a private consulting business operated from home. Ifyou’re planning to use your condo as a home office, you’ll want to be clear onthe rules regarding what you can and can’t do there.

4. Arethere limits on how long guests can stay?

Dependingon your situation, rules limiting how long guests can stay could be a blessingor a curse. If you have a brother-in-law frequently getting kicked out of hishouse, it could be the perfect excuse to tell him to move along. On the otherhand, if you have a friend hoping to visit for a couple weeks, such limitscould really be a problem.

 5. Isthe building noisy or quiet?

If you’retypically in bed by 8 p.m. you might be thrilled about strict limits on whenpeople can use the pool or play music, but if you’re someone who stays up lateyou might prefer a building with a more relaxed policy. And if you’re hoping topractice the electric guitar or your Gregorian chanting, you’ll want to reviewthe condo building’s noise ordinance and possibly even drive by the condobuilding at night to check the scene. Various government agencies also mapnoise complaints, so you can tell if your building is particularly noisy ornot.

 6. Issmoking or vaping allowed?

If you area smoker you’ll want to know whether you’ll be forced to stand across thestreet in the rain each time you feel like lighting up, or if you can’t standthe smell of it you’ll want to know whether smoke will be pouring in your openwindow each time your neighbor lights up on the porch.

 7. Aretenants allowed to rent their units on Airbnb or VRBO?

Whetheryou’re hoping to make income on your condo when you’re out of town or you’relooking to avoid being neighbors with what’s functionally a hotel room, you’llneed to find out what the building’s policy is regarding renting a unit out.

8. Arethere restrictions on posting flags or signs?

Whether youwant to show some team spirit or advocate for saving the whales, you mightdiscover that you are forbidden from expressing yourself because of condorules. Some buildings don’t allow you to hang flags from your deck, or postpolitical signs in your windows, or other similar forms of expression.


9. Wherewill your guests park?

Dependingon the density of the neighborhood the building is in, and the number ofavailable guest parking spots your building has, you may discover there’snowhere for guests to park. If you’re hoping your car-dependent friends aregoing to visit your new home, it’s something to consider.

 10. Hownoisy is your block?

Location iseverything, especially when it comes to noise and unruly people. If your condois near a sports stadium, concert venue, popular protest route, or hospital youmay discover your new home is bursting with drunk revelers, angry chanting, andconstant sirens.

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.