Portland Condos – Buying a Condo in Portland Oregon
Things to know about purchasing a Condominium with Portland Condos.
One of the first things to consider is which neighborhood you would like to live. Each neighborhood has a different “feel” such as the Pearl District some compare to SoHo as it has converted warehouses into lofts, newer condo buildings, boutiques, restaurants, parks and much more. West of the Pearl District we have the Northwest Nob Hill neighborhood which some says is similar to San Francisco with its turn of the century Victorian homes and older apartment buildings converted into condos a few years ago. This area has a more “residential” feel however still very urban than Downtown Portland or The Pearl District. Northwest Nob Hill is home to the famous NW 23rd Ave with lots of coffee shops, boutiques, restaurants and much more. In Downtown Portland is the cultural district with condos close to the Portland Art Museum, Historic Society, Symphonies and the Theaters. One of the other popular neighborhoods for condos is South Waterfront which is the newest Portland city center neighborhood very urban with three newer condo buildings, The Atwater, Meriwether and John Ross Condominiums. Over on the close in east side is some wonderful neighborhoods with charms of their own. Each neighborhood has different amenities so thinking about which neighborhood you like to live in is important in your search.
Next is what amenities are important to you. Is having a garage space, storage or outdoor space important to you? What kind of natural light do you like such as northern or southern exposer? What about a view? Is this essential and if so which view do you prefer? Many of our condos here in Portland have city view, west hills, downtown or river view. What kind of space do you need? Many clients would like 2 bedrooms but there are not too many of those so I suggest they keep their options open to perhaps a one bedroom with a den. What kind of style do you like? Each building has different styles such as the warehouse conversations which are more a loft style condo where as some of the newer ones might be traditional, industrial or modern. Is having high end finishes important or perhaps a bit more space is more important and add updates as you live in your new condo. These are just a few things to consider when looking for your perfect condo here in Portland.
What about HOA dues? HOA dues are typically a monthly cost for condo owners that goes to the association to maintain the building. Not only is it for reoccurring monthly cost such as water, sewer and garbage, yearly cost such as taxes and insurance for the building but also a portion of these dues goes toward reserves. Reserves are an account that is used toward long term repairs and updates to lessen the possibilities of special assessments. The State of Oregon requires HOA’s to perform reserve studies to make sure enough of the monthly dues is being collected to allow funds for long term repairs and updates. Another factor with HOA dues is the building itself. How old is the building? How many units? Amenities offered with the building such as concierge service, swimming pools, gym, etc. as these are expenses that need to be paid out of the HOA dues. Another thing to consider is the size of your unit as your ownership within the building is determined by the square footage of your condo which is what your HOA monthly dues is calculated by. The larger your condo the higher your HOA dues will be. Remember HOA’s are home owners and these dues are what it cost to maintain your building similar to maintaining a detached home only it is shared by many homeowners.
How is buying a condo different than purchasing a single family home?
One of the main difference is you are part of a home owner association which is why we ask with our condo sale agreement for the pertinent condominium documents. We pay special attention to the minutes which is why we ask for 6 month to a year. As most issues of a building begins within these meetings we are looking to see if there are any that might cause special assessments.
These are just a few things to consider while viewing and purchasing a condo here in Portland with many questions which I am happy to answer!