The condo docs will provide information on your assigned parking space(s), attached/detached garage, or
covered parking space(s).
Many condos with attached garages may not allow overnight parking in the street or even in your own
driveway. You may be able to keep an RV or boat in a locked community parking area, if available in the
If you plan on guests with an extended stay of over a week, you should notify your condo association in
advance. Many Sarasota area condos have strict parking regulations, and may tow a car that is improperly
parked or without a guest sticker.
Definitely! I have a page devoted to investing in a Sarasota area condo.
Of course everything depends on how you want to use your property. For condos with rentals restricted to
annual or semi-annual leases, you will want to make sure your association fees are as low as possible and
that the unit is in a high-demand area. Seasonal/short term rental condos are usually found closer to the
beaches and have on-site management companies, managing the units more like a hotel.
You may find my return on investment calculator helpful in your decision process.
Most condos allow pets in varying numbers or size limitations. There may be breed restrictions. You can
apply for an exception with the condo association depending on the number of pets, or size of pets.
If you are planning on buying a condo as an investment, many condos do not allow tenants to have pets.
Whether the condo does or doesn't allow a tenant to have a pet should not be a major deciding factor in your
decision to purchase a particular condo as an investment. Rental property is in high demand.
You will be required to apply for membership in the condo association. This is usually a formality, with an
application form and one-time fee ranging between $50-$100. The title agent/real estate attorney handling
the closing will obtain the application from the association for you to complete.
In addition to a background check, more and more condo associations are requiring a personal interview.
Condo financing is available for US and non-US citizens for use as either a primary residence, or a vacation
home. If purchasing as a vacation home, buyers can expect lenders to ask for a 30% down payment on a
Buyers should also be aware that they not only satisfy all lender requirements, but the condo association
must as well. Condo associations are required show 10% of the annual budget in reserves in their financial
statement for Fannie or Freddie-backed mortgages. They must also show acceptable levels of insurance.
Lenders are sending condo association management detailed questionnaires to complete, before giving
final loan approval on a condo.
This means you may be well-qualified to obtain a mortgage, but your loan can be denied if the condo
association does not meet the requirements for Fannie and Freddie-backed mortgages.
After your offer is accepted by the seller, you will receive a copy of what we term the "condo docs"
(condominium rules and regulations documents).
The condo docs will reveal any potential assessments for future improvements to the property, such
as roofs, railings, community pools, or paving. Assessments are charged to owners above and beyond
normal condo fees. Buyers must be provided a one-page owner's association disclosure, and you must
review the detailed information provided in the condo documents.
Condo docs will include further information such as rental restrictions, assigned parking, age restrictions (in
the case of 55+ communities), and provide a statement showing the financial condition of the association. If
you are getting a mortgage, review of the condo's financial statement is crucial.
Under FL law you have three days to review the condo docs after receipt. You may withdraw or amend your
offer to purchase if the information provided reveals unsatisfactory rules, terms, regulations, or additional
This is one of the most common questions regarding a Sarasota, FL condo purchase. The fees usually
cover water, basic cable TV, trash removal, exterior insurance (including the roof), and maintenance for
common areas such as a community pool, clubhouse, or guard gate.
Some condos will require that you maintain insurance on personal items inside the condo unit.
Condo associations charge fees to owners, either monthly or quarterly, for maintenance, insurance, and
some utilities. Depending on the condo and what is covered, fees range between $200-$500 monthly, but
can be much more for luxury condominium buildings with concierge services or waterfront amenities such
as boat docks. Certain condo communities also charge CDD fees (community development district) that
cover the cost of infrastructure such as public roads, lighting, and public parks.
Condo fees do not cover property tax, which is paid separately by the owner.
All of the news involving increasing flood insurance premiums, for now, only affects single family homes.
There are no current proposed changes to flood insurance rules for condos as of this writing.
You do not need to get individual flood insurance for your condo. Insurance affecting the building structure is
included as part of your condo association fees. You may need to get condo owner's insurance to protect
personal property, such as appliances, furnishings, and HVAC system.