Do your own research into the area and the market you are thinking of buying into. Don't just see one agent. Real Estate agents are groomed and slick, they'll be your best friend and have always pleasant things to say stroking the old ego. Well that's great but this is one of the most important decisions of your life. It's a good idea to listen but NEVER take one opinion only. Stand alone and be sure when you decide to purchase that you know what you are paying is good value, and that your investment is sound. Shop around through the agents, see what each says, see what each has listed. Do your internet and news papers research on recent sales and have a drive past of those properties. Looking at their localities, newness and condition of the buildings. If the building allows have a walk through the reception and grounds. Note the price of properties that you might of already seen and what they have sold for.
Avoid auctions unless your finance is secure, and you are prepared to only bid to a certain amount, and you have the will power to walk away unfrustrated and ready to search again. Ask the agents questions about the values in the area, you'll soon be able to tell the more honest agent over the monthly sales targeted agent. Don't just have one "this is my dream place" there is always others. You are in a much better position of purchase when you aren't so emotionally tied to one place. That is not to say if for some reason you do find exactly what you are looking for act upon it, even if it means going a few dollars more than expected, within reason. Just keep your keenness to your self.
Property inspection includes many things. Below are some steps that should be included in your inspection.
Make sure any real estate you are thinking of purchasing has been thoroughly checked out by a building property inspector. You should sign the contract with your real estate agent with the clause "subject to building approval, pest inspection and local authority searches." This allows you to escape the contract if the something untowards crops up. It also allows you to take legal action against the company carrying out the inspections if they fail to notify you of something significant. So ask them questions about the building and don't just accept their report if it seems a little vague.
If the builder that built the complex is still around, ask about other buildings he has built. Talk to the owners of the units and find if they have had many problems with the construction. Talk to the owners and renters of the units in the complex you intend to buy.
Feel the flow and function of the complex and unit. Its decor, its ease of access for the elderly or disabled. Is the pool area well contained and private from the possibility of other units peering into your private recreation time. Look for windows that have a mirror type film and not curtains. These are a favourite lurk of people with suspect morality.
Check out the car parking area. Is it adequate and has ease of getting in and out? Is it well lit? Is the car parking area available to visitors or do they have a seperate area? Is it easy to merge into the local traffic as you leave the complex? Is it easy to turn into from both directions when you arrive home?
What security does the complex support? Is it linked to a security firm? What is their response time? Has their been trouble before, either with a security concern or police being called because of domestic disputes or bad behaviour in general? You don't want to move into your new unit only to find out that every weekend you are subject to wild pool party's. Or at every holiday time you are invaded with countless college students partying for a month or two non stop.
Check that there is no ongoing or pending litigation involving the complex. You could be walking into a law suit. Remember in a condo or co-op complex the building and its grounds are common property. Therefore all are liable. So make sure that all insurances are well paid up. Ask your legal representative to have a look at any dealings, agreements and contracts that the body corp management have signed. So remember to be involved in any future decisions by keeping informed of what's going on. Enquire how they let the owners and tenants know what's happening and the decisions they've taken.