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Condo Insurance 101

Are you interested in finding out about if condo insurance is right for you? There’s a lot to consider when it comes to  finding the best insurance policy. Lets talk about what condominium insurance is, what it covers, what it costs, and more.

What is Condo Insurance?

Condo insurance exclusively covers the interior of your condo unit. Insurance for an individual unit is called an HO-6 policy. This is a specific policy that will provide you with a range of coverage. Generally an HO-6 policy will cover things like interior walls, appliances, personal property, legal fees due to a lawsuit, and liability claims due to a person’s injury or property damage. An HO-6 will also cover loss of use in the case your unit is considered unlivable due to fire or storm damage. Anything outside of your specific unit is typically the responsibility of your condo association.  The best way to think of it is in terms of who owns what.

How Much Does Condo Insurance Cost?

The average cost of condominium insurance can range from $100 to $400 a year, depending on a number of factors. Generally, the cost of your insurance depends on the amount of coverage you select and the value of your personal property. It’s a good idea to find the best deals on insurance by using websites that allow you to build, customize, and bundle insurance policies online. You can also get discounts by having your condo insurance under the same provider as your auto insurance.

How Much Condo Insurance Do I Need?

Finally, how much insurance you need depends entirely on your unit and the cost of your possessions. You can figure out a rough estimate by calculating how much it’d take to replace your personal items in the event of a fire or burglary. Connect with an insurance agent to ensure you’re getting the right coverage.

 

 

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Renting vs. Buying Condominiums: What to Consider

Renting vs. Buying a Condominium

There are many factors to consider when it comes to renting or buying a condo. Finances are a major aspect to factor in, but thats only one piece of the puzzle. Consider these pros and cons if you’re struggling with the decision to rent or buy.

1. Calculate the Price-to-Rent Ratio

If you want to know the price-to-rent ratio, find a condo in your area for sale and a condo for rent. Be sure that they have similar features, such as the same number of bedrooms and comparable square footage.

As an example, lets say you find a condo selling for $200,000, and down the block you find a similar condo renting for $1,000 per month (or $12,000 per year.) Dividing $200,000 by $12,000 will give you a price-to-rent ratio of 16.7. If the ratio is higher than 20, the monthly costs of condo ownership will exceed the cost of renting a similar condo.

2. Determine Your Household Budget

An important financial aspect to consider when deciding to rent or buy your next condo is your income. If the purchase prices of the condos in your area are exceeding what you make in three years, then consider renting. If you’re intent on buying, then consider looking at other neighborhoods or locations.

3. Identify Your Needs

If you purchase a condo, being able to change the layout is an available option. But if you rent, you’re basically stuck with what you get. Owning a condo gives you the freedom to make more invasive changes to the interior. You can remodel more easily and expand where you need to. Most tenants who are renting or leasing, won’t be able to make any significant changes.

4. How Long Do You Plan to Stay?

Another major aspect to contemplate is how long you plan on staying in the area. Renting a condo gives you a lot more flexibility to relocate if needed. Some things to consider are if you’re planning on starting with a new job or starting a family. Buying a condo, you may be stuck with the purchase until the 30-year load is paid off or you can find a buyer.

5. The Responsibility of Maintenance

One major upside to renting is that if anything goes wrong, like the electricity malfunctioning or toilet backing up, you can call the condo association to come fix the problem. As a condo owner, you’ll be responsible for any mishaps.

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Top 8 Blogs for Condo Owners

Whether you’re ready to finance, decorate, or even sell your condo, it’s conducive to have plenty of information at your fingertips. There are plenty of great blogs out there to help you find the information you need now, or could use in the future, when it comes to the complexity of owning your own condo. We rounded up a few of our favorites for you to look through or save for future reference.

Top 8 Blogs for Condo Owners

1.  Condo Association

A blog that deals with an array of different condo-living issues, especially financial related tips. Plenty of information on lending, insurance, and general condo-living information.

2. Condo Owner

Condo Owner is a blog geared towards resort condominiums, but there’s information for all condos available. Just a few of the issues Condo Owner touches on are banking, buying and selling, insurance, legality, and maintenance.

3. Condo & HOA Smart 

Provides important information against scams and risks for those looking to buy homes in condominium and homeowners associations. They have essential information for condo buyers, real estate agents, and board members.

4. Condo Law Guru

A blog run by an attorney, Beth Grimm, who is very familiar with condo and HOA legal issues. She breaks down the laws in layman’s terms and helps those who need information regarding condominium associations. As a result, Beth Grimm has already covered a plethora of issues you might run into or want to know more about.

5. Houzz

Perfect for finding decorating ideas for your condo! They feature photos of inspirational living spaces with a product directory, so you know which items to buy to replicate your favorite look. Most of all, they have a quite a collection of condo eye-candy.

6. CondoBlog

A great resource for city guides, tips, advice, market trends, and much more. They offer a lot of unique information about condo-living news.

7. My First Condo

Has a ton of information for first-time condo owners. Find resources for getting started, buying your first condo, mortgage, renovating, and co-ops, and more.

8. Evercondo Blog

A community blog that includes “tips, interviews, and trending topics on the ins and outs of condo living and management.” Find information about all sorts of issues like budgets, avoiding issues, property management.