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Important things you should know when buying a Condominium

Condominium and Coop

Condominium and Coop – are two different forms of ownership.

In a Condominium you own your unit and a portion of the common elements of the building based most often on how much of the overall square footage you own.

In a Coop you own shares in a corporation that owns the building and those shares give you the right to use your apartment.


So often we here that the ‘maintenance fee includes insurance”, and to some extent this is true but it is not the whole story.

The insurance that the building has covers the common elements of the condominium complex which in most cases is defined as the area up to the sheet rock in your condominium. After that your personal homeowners takes over.

It is highly suggested all Fort lauderdale condominiums have personal homeowners insurance, and many condominiums are starting to require it, and in some cases it may become law in some states.


Most Fort Lauderdale real estate contracts require that any assessments which are on the horizon and already “ratified” be paid in full by the seller at closing.

However, some contracts will pass them on to the buyer on the day of closing and others may proportion the amount due based on the extent of work that has been done.

Before you sign an offer confirm if there are any pending assessments and how they are going to be dealt with.

Fire sprinklers

There is currently a law pending in the state of Florida that will require every high-rise condominium to be retrofitted with sprinklers.

Cost estimates of this project vary greatly but one such estimate places the cost per unit at over $8000. There is much discussion about changing these requirements because of the tough economic times.

Even with the changes it is likely that many older condominiums will face some sort of fire safety update expense in the future.

Board Meeting Minutes

When purchasing a Condominium it is perfectly acceptable to ask that the seller provide the minutes of the last three board meetings.

This a great way to know what is going on, what to expect and to make sure this building is the right home for you.


Keeping in mind these important items before purchasing a Fort Lauderdale condominium or co-op will help ensure you make an informed and educated condominium purchase.

Eric Miller is an award winning Florida Realtor, salesperson and broker. His website Fort Lauderdale Real Estate provides the most complete buyer, seller and investor information for the Fort Lauderdale Real Estate Market.

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Eric Miller REALTOR®
Keller Williams Realty Professionals
3696 N Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308
Direct: (954) 383-8170
Fax: (954) 630-7050
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