If you are thinking about buying a condo in Portland this summer, the following might be of interest.

Waterfront Condos in MaineAccording to statistics available from MREIS (Maine Real Estate Information System), 108 condos have sold in Portland during the first five months of 2010 compared to only 66 during the same period of 2009.  The time to sell a condo has improved, as the median days on market stood at 70, compared to 80 in 2009.  Pricing, however, has declined, with the median price down 11.6% to $196,150.

Buying a condo compared to a single family home involves some additional considerations that can be easily overlooked.  Before writing a purchase and sale agreement, make sure you investigate these factors:

  1. What is the amount of the monthly association fee and what is covered by this expense?
  2. Understand the insurance policy.  Most associations require that owners insure their own personal belongings and everything within the unit’s walls.
  3. How extensive are the bi-laws and covenants?  These can vary considerably from one development to another.
  4. Do research on the recent history of resales in the development.  Is the building or complex keeping pace with the market?
  5. Besides parking for yourself, what is the policy regarding guests?
  6. Review the financial statements.  Are their delinquent owners?  Are there any special assessments?  This information should also be included in meeting minutes.  Roofs, decks, docks and things of this nature often need additional capital to repair.
  7. Who is the management company and is it professionally run?  When buying a condo in Maine there is a standard Condominium Addendum that is required as part of the P&A.  It outlines important aspects of the association – make sure you review it thoroughly.

Owning a condo offers many lifestyle advantages.  Although it might seem like a no-brainer, keeping a checklist is these small points can help keep you on track as you complete your due diligence.