Hot Tips for Buying in a Hotter Condo Market

Physician's Money Digest, March 2006, Volume 13, Issue 3

Wall Street

Journal

While the housing market's inferno isstarting to quell, condominium sales arestill hot. According to the , the median price of a condo surpassedsingle-family homes for the firsttime in 2005 at $216,600, up 9% from theprevious year. Will the condo boom last?Experts are not quite sure. Even thoughcondos have increased at record pace,much of their demand has been due tospeculative buyers and not owner-occupants.The following tips will help you makethe right condo purchase in a hot market:

•It goes without saying that locationis the most important factor when buyingreal estate. Look to buy in popular neighborhoodsand in new or emerging markets.End-unit, waterfront, and beachfront propertiesare also hot commodities.

•What's in a name? Recognition canhelp you reap a premium price when it'stime to sell. Because such projects are builtby renowned builders and architects, thecondo's quality usually speaks for itself.

•Buying a new condo, especially in aninitial offering, will help you gain the mostappreciation for your investment. An oldercondo that needs work is a great value, ifyou are willing to do the work. Just makesure that the building and grounds are keptin good condition, even if the inside is not.