9 Questions to Ask Your Potential Santa Cruz Condo Association

Posted by Lauren Spencer on Tuesday, October 13th, 2009 at 11:13am.

If you’re looking at buying a Santa Cruz condo, you need to be aware that there are condominium associations that oversee condo developments just like there are homeowner’s associations that oversee subdivisions.  However, they may not work the same and can vary widely from condo to condo.  Here are a few things you need to ask the association before signing that contract: 

1. What’s the ratio of owner-occupied to tenant-occupied units?  More owner-occupied units means better marketability if you want to resell.

2. Do the assessments rise with inflation?  This doesn’t sound like a good thing, but matching assessments with the rate of inflation means the ability to build reserves for any future repairs.

3. What does the assessment cover (trash collection, condo maintenance, etc.) in the Santa Cruz condo?  Some association assessments may not cover recreational facilities, for instance, while other condos’ assessments may cover a broad range of areas.

4. What is the turnover in the building?  If it’s high, that’s an indication of issues you may not be familiar with.

5. How much of the assessments do they keep in reserve and for what?  How do they invest the money?  If you’re paying fees and assessments, you want to make sure they aren’t spent frivolously.

6. Are they involved in a lawsuit?  If the condo is in litigation, those reserves can disappear quickly.

7. How reputable is the builder?  If you can, visit other projects and ask the residents how they feel about their place.  Get an engineer’s report to find out if the building is in good shape.  Any problems that are there when you buy are yours once you sign the contract.

8. What are the condominium’s bylaws, restrictions, covenants and grandfather clauses?  You want to make sure you can live with them.  In addition, you’ll want an attorney to look over the documents with you.

9. Is more than one association involved?  The larger the development, the more likely that there are umbrella associations.  Several associations can mean several assessments.

A Santa Cruz condo can be a dream come true if you choose well.  Make sure you do your homework! 

If you’re looking for a condo that perfectly fits your lifestyle and needs, I can help.  Call me at 831.662.6522 or email me at lauren@laurenspencer.com for more information.



1.  Condominium associations

2.  Maintenance

3.  Condominium’s bylaws

About Lauren Spencer

Award-Winning Santa Cruz REALTOR®

Lauren Spencer is your local real estate expert, specializing in Santa Cruz real estate and surrounding communities—this is where she lives, works, and plays too. Let her know your questions about the community and county and she'll be happy to fill you in on all you want to know! Lauren Spencer has consistently been voted best local REALTOR in Santa Cruz and is always happy to offer her advice and expertise. Call her at: 800.226.4717.

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