First-time condo buyers tend to ride a rollercoaster of emotions. There is the excitement of potentially owning a home, nervousness over the mortgage process, worry about finding the right unit and a whole host of other feelings. It can all be a bit overwhelming.

That doesn’t even factor in the things you don’t know about the process. With so much happening, many first-time condo buyers miss essential details. A real estate agent will help guide you through this journey, but they can’t answer questions you don’t ask.

Don’t worry; we’re here to help. Here are four things first-time condo buyers must consider. Knowing these before you make a purchase can ensure your new home is a happy one.

4 things first-time condo buyers must consider

1) What are the homeowner fees/dues?

Many first-time condo buyers have no idea that they are obliged to pay homeowner fees/dues. Some are even surprised when the bill for this shows up. Payment terms will either be monthly or annual and this varies by location and developer.

Homeowner fees/dues go towards property maintenance and improvement. After all, that swimming pool won’t clean itself. It is important to note paying this is unavoidable as you agree to it when signing a purchase agreement. That is why you want to know how much it is going to cost before you buy.

2) Is a parking space guaranteed?

Not all projects are able to guarantee unit owners a parking space. In some instances, it is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Other projects may require you to pay extra for a spot. Whatever the case may be, make sure you know what to expect before moving in.

3) Furnished, fitted or empty

What you see isn’t always what you get. Many first-time condo buyers walk into a unit and assume everything inside comes standard. That is almost never the case. It’s vital to know what exactly will be inside, so you don’t go over budget purchasing furniture, electronics and other household essentials.

Keep Reading: Is it better to buy a furnished or unfurnished condo?

4) Renovation regulations

You may want to paint your unit in the future or install shelves. Perhaps you come to dislike the flooring and want to change it. It is impossible to know what the future might bring. With that in mind, you should have a clear picture of what renovations can be carried out as well as how the approval process works.

This can vary quite a bit from building to building, so you should have an idea of the renovation regulations before buying. Overlooking this might not be a big deal at first, but who knows how you’ll feel once the honeymoon period with your condo ends.

Related: 3 interior design trends in Southeast Asia to watch in 2023