Condo, short for condominium, represents a single unit in a multiply-unit property. Every day more people are deciding to buy one. This is because it is a great way to dive into homeownership, without having to worry about all of the upkeep that comes with townhouses.
Buying a condo unit can be quite exciting. The thing is though, not everyone knows where to begin, what things you should be paying attention to, nor what you should do when you buy it.
To help you with everything important that comes with buying a new condo unit, we have prepared a few tips that you will find useful for sure.
As for any other property, having good insurance for your condo unit is very important. Even though it might seem like an excessive expense at times, it most certainly is not. Having any kind of home insurance assures you that everything you put into it will not just disappear in case of an accident. Insurance has even bigger importance when you share a building with other residents since you can never know what can happen on the other side of the wall.
Condo insurance policies cover the interior, and parts of the exterior. It’s important that you do your research on different types of insurance policies so that you make sure that you get the best deal. But even more important – taking time to learn more about insurance policies also matters so that you know your rights if something goes wrong. The general types of condo insurance policies are bare walls-in coverage, single-entity coverage, and all-in coverage. Depending on your needs, as well as your budget, one will suit you more than the other.
Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
To secure you, as well as your home, be sure to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors as soon as you move in. When they are properly installed and maintained, both of these detectors play a vital role in injuries and death prevention.
If there happens to be a fire in your home, the smoke will spread fast, the detectors will activate immediately, and will give you enough time to get out. When it comes to carbon monoxide detectors, they might be even more important. Since this gas is colorless, odorless, and practically invisible, it is crucial to have a detector that can help you avoid this lethal gas.
A common mistake that people make is putting detectors just in one room, most often the kitchen. To maximize your safety, install them on every level of your home and in every room. Of course, test your detectors at least once every couple of months and replace them every few years.
Clean the air conditioning unit
Coming home on a hot day can be a bit unpleasant if our apartment is not any different, which is why we all love our air conditioning. But, people often forget how important it is to have a clean air conditioning unit. And unfortunately, a lot of them don’t even clean it. To make sure you will have clean air, and to ensure the efficiency of your air conditioner, make sure you replace or clean its filters.
Clogged, dirty filters can drastically block normal airflow, and significantly reduce your system’s efficiency. By replacing clogged filters with clean ones, you can lower your air conditioner’s energy up to 15%. But, more importantly, by having clean filters, you will be sure you do not have any dangerous bacteria flowing in the air. One bacteria that lives in air conditioners can cause a severe form of pneumonia.
Check the plumbing
Plumbing generally does not get much attention until there is a problem. When you buy a new home, it is extremely important to check the state of the plumbing system. Though it might look like an unnecessary cost, the good old saying better safe than sorry applies here as well. If there is a problem with plumbing, the cost of the repercussions can skyrocket.
If there are any places where your plumbing leaks, you will need to face some costly consequences. From mold to wet walls which lead to cracks, and ruined floors, a broken plumbing system is not at all fun. And the biggest problem is, these issues are like dominos. Once there is a problem, you will have a very hard time stopping it.
Consider ways to conserve energy
Throughout history, we have realized all the ways we have been wasting energy, and have found new ones to save it. There are many things you can do to reduce your monthly costs as well as your impact on the environment.
Install energy-efficient windows
Windows can be a huge source of energy waste. They add from 10% up to 25% of your total heating bill. These kinds of costs can add up over time, which is why installing energy-efficient windows is so important. A simple solution for this problem is replacing single-pane windows with double-pane ones. If you live in a condo with a lot of windows, your savings are going to be even bigger.
Energy-efficient windows don’t only reduce the costs of your heating bill though. In warmer climates, there is a problem with heat gain through the windows. If they are energy-efficient, they can reduce heat gain by reflecting more light, therefore reducing the amount of thermal energy that enters your home.
Get a smart thermostat
If you purchase a big condo unit, you will probably see some high bills. If you get a smart thermostat, you will be able to set it to automatically turn off or reduce cooling and heating when you are at work or asleep. When you have a house gadget like this, you can eliminate wasteful energy use.
Insulate your condo unit
Even though most modern buildings already have some type of insulation, not all of them are sufficient. Depending on the area of your house, you will need a different level of insulation. Consider adding insulation to your attic, basement, floors, and walls to conserve as much energy as you can. Insulation is the most important in lowering your utility bills, so make sure you get a high-quality one.
Buying a condo is quite pricey on its own, so it is understandable if you feel like these extra costs might be too much. But remember that by following all the things we have talked about, you are protecting your home and saving money in the long term.