If you are thinking about buying a condominium, you may already know about the potential benefits. For example, while financing the purchase of a condo is very similar to the process for a single-family home, the purchase price may be much less. This makes a condo more affordable, and it can represent a good investment.

However, there are other important considerations to make when thinking about buying a condo. Here are three important things you should know before you go too far down the path to condo ownership.

  1. More vacancies may mean more problems

If there are many units available for sale at the same time, think twice about the purchase. It may indicate conditions that the owners found unsatisfactory. You need not necessarily overlook the property if you really like it, but you should proceed with caution. Make inquiries of the people who still live there to find out about potential issues.

  1. You must deal with the homeowner’s association

The homeowner’s association collects fees associated with exterior maintenance, resolves conflicts among residents and imposes rules for the community. Before you purchase a condo, you should find out what the HOA dues are. You usually pay these monthly, but purchase price and mortgage estimates may not include them.

You should also review the HOA’s rules before making an offer to see if you can live with them. Each HOA sets its own rules, and some are stricter than others.

  1. You are responsible for interior maintenance

Your HOA dues go to the upkeep and maintenance of the building’s exterior and the grounds. This includes common areas such as parking garages, tennis courts or pools. However, it does not include any problems that occur inside your unit involving plumbing, electricity or other repairs. These are your responsibility as the owner of the unit. You will either need to address them yourself or hire a professional to help if they are beyond your capability.