1) Don't compare before buying. Fall in love with the place, and don't check on your future neighbors. Don't familiarize yourself with the neighborhood and just feel as if you and your family have been parachuted in this unit.
2) Don't bother to read the minutes of the annual meeting of the homeowner's association that the owner will supply to your real estate agent to give you a background of the activities of the condo. Don't make a distinction between normal and capital expenditures and don't find out about the importance of a reserve fund.
3) Don't attend the annual meeting of the condo owners, and don't find out what's in store for the next year, or what happened last year. Don't think of investing a few minutes of your time to study the financial statements of the last 5 years including the notes attached herewith that could shine a bright light on the financial status of the association.
4) Don't be present at special assessment meetings that are often called to explain in somewhat great details the sums to be levied to pay for unforeseen or badly planned capital expenditures, and don't ask questions about the extra fees that may be required that can last for many years
5) Don't get involved on any committee, or on the board of administrators and don't enquire or try to sense the degree, not of the social skills of the administrators, but of their building-management or business acumen and competence
6) Don't take care of your unit, and plan to leave before major renovations are required, leaving the mess to others. Don't care if the other unit owners have a similar attitude and believe this “laissez-faire" philosophy.
7) Don't read the rules and regulations of the homeowner's association guide and let others worry about the state of the building and its management.
Gilles Martin is a Real Estate Agent, accomplished Entrepreneur and long-time businessman. His articles can be read on Musings of a Real Estate Agent .