When you purchase a Steamboat Springs condo, you aren’t just purchasing your specific unit. You are purchasing part of the entire development. It’s important to look not only at the condo itself, but how the entire complex is run and whether or not it is properly funded.
(*As you read these, remember: I am not an attorney. Getting an attorney to review the documents before you purchase Steamboat real estate is really smart.)
Here are important things to find out before buying a condo in Steamboat:
1. What are HOA fees and what do they cover?
HOA is an abbreviation for “Home Owners Association”. These monthly condo fees can vary quite a bit from one development to another depending on the number of services offered and what is included. The number of amenities a property offers will affect dues. A Steamboat condo development like Trappeurs Crossing or Eagleridge Lodge that has a heated pool, shuttle service, concierge, on-site check-in, etc. will have higher HOA dues than a development without those amenities. Some HOAs include gas, cable, wireless internet, etc. Make sure you find out what is included and what isn’t before you buy.
2. What are the Steamboat condo development’s rules & regulations?
Steamboat condo rules and regulations also vary greatly. Here are some examples:
- Many Steamboat condos allow owners to have pets but don’t allow renters to have pets. There could be a maximum number of pets for owners or a weight restriction.
- Some condos allow nightly rentals and others require you to rent a minimum of two weeks. If you are looking to rent out your Steamboat Springs condo to short term vacationers, you’ll want to buy a place that allows nightly rentals.
Make sure you read these governing docs carefully so you won’t have any surprises after you move in.
3. How much money is in the capital reserve account and how much is funded each year?
The capital reserve fund is an account to pay for all of those “non-recurring recurring expenses” as my husband likes to say. It is the fund which pays for routine maintenance like painting the exterior. Make sure this account is adequately funded or you could find out you’ll be paying a special assessment.
4. Are there any planned special assessments?
These are the big costs like putting on a new roof or paving a parking lot that will be prorated to every owner if there isn’t enough money in the capital reserve. Some complexes have reserve studies so they can budget for replacements and repairs.
5. Who is the management company?
In the Steamboat resort market, there are two types of management: the property management and there is rental management. Sometimes these are the same company. Find out who does the management and who does the bulk of the rentals if it is a nightly rental complex.
6. Are there any lawsuits?
Occasionally you’ll find lawsuits involving owners, developers or the association of a condominium complex. If there are lawsuits, attorney fees will come out of the condo budget. Lengthy litigation could mean a special assessment to owners.