A premier city with an exciting mix of stunning desert landscapes and a vibrant urban vibe, Scottsdale, Arizona has emerged as a hot market for luxury condominium developments.
Condominiums in Scottsdale, AZ are attractive options for young professionals, new families, frequent travelers, second homeowners, and empty nesters, who want great amenities but less maintenance work. These properties are also ideal for local residents looking to downsize or invest in a second home.
If you’re thinking of buying a condo as a primary residence, a vacation home, or a real estate investment, read our guide on how you can close a great deal on the perfect property.
Factors to consider when buying a condo
Condos come in many shapes and sizes. They can be apartment units, townhomes, or villas within a larger real estate development. What defines a condo and separates it from other property types is ownership. With a condo, you solely own the space within the walls of the unit, but the building and the land on which it sits are owned jointly by all condo unit owners.
For many, buying a condo is both a lifestyle choice and an investment. In buying one, these are the three most important factors to consider:
Location is key
You can improve, update, and redecorate a condo but the one thing you can’t change is the location. If you’re looking to resell the property in the future, the location will play a major role in its resale value. A desirable neighborhood, access to transportation, proximity to essential amenities, and quality schools are just some of the significant factors that can increase the value of your condo over time. A prized view of a lake or a mountain adds a premium to the property.
Your desired amenities
Condos typically come with a variety of amenities. Some might simply offer the convenience of maintaining the grounds and common areas while others provide shared facilities, such as a pool, a gym, and playgrounds.
If you choose a luxury condo, you’ll be pampered with over-the-top amenities and stellar services. Many properties include 24-hour concierge service, access to a golf course, resort-style facilities, state-of-the-art fitness centers, clubhouses, and even private dining rooms.
Upscale amenities can certainly enhance your lifestyle and contribute to the quality and enjoyment of your daily routine. However, these luxuries don’t come for free. Since you will be paying extra for them, determine the services that are important to you. Some amenities require expensive maintenance and can significantly add to your expenses.
On the upside, condos with desirable and well-maintained amenities have greater potential to appreciate in value over time, so they may well be worth the investment.
When searching condominiums in Scottsdale, AZ, size is also an important element to consider. Your needs, lifestyle, and budget can dictate the size of the property to buy. Will you be living alone? If so, perhaps a studio unit will be sufficient for your needs. Do you need space for a family? A multi-bedroom and multi-bathroom unit may be the better option.
Look into the floor plans of prospective properties and see how they match what you’re looking for. If you want to wake up to lovely views, a bedroom with a large window or a terrace is a perfect choice.
If you have existing furniture that you want to move into the condo, do your research and determine if this will fit into the space. The general rule is that you should be able to move freely and comfortably in your new home.
Whether you want a smaller unit with less maintenance for a “lock and leave” lifestyle, or you’re seeking more space for your family and entertaining guests, you will find wonderful options among the condominiums for sale in Scottsdale, AZ.
Condominiums as an investment
There’s great demand for rental properties in Scottsdale, AZ, whether as vacation homes or as residences. If you wish to tap into this market, condominiums make excellent investment options for a number of reasons:
- They are less expensive. Condos tend to be less expensive than single-family homes. With the high demand and low inventory that are pushing the prices of single-family homes up, condos are proving to be cost-effective alternatives. According to the National Association of REALTORS (NAR), condominiums remain the most affordable homeownership option for first-time homebuyers, singles, small families, and senior adults.
- They are easy to rent out. With its top-rated golf courses, amazing outdoor attractions, and great culture, Scottsdale lures tourists from all over the country, making it a hot real estate market for vacation rentals. The West’s Most Western Town also earned the vote as the No. 1 city for raising a family in America. The burgeoning economy and job opportunities are drawing in young professionals and families who are looking for relatively more affordable housing, especially in their first few months or years in the city. Condos offer an attractive option for this market segment for their generally lower rental cost, availability, and convenience.
- They come with less maintenance and repair costs. Less maintenance is one of the top reasons buyers opt for a condo. You don’t need to worry about mowing the lawn, fixing the roof, or clearing the sidewalks of snow. A property management company usually takes care of these needs and the costs are shared among condo owners.
- They offer good security. Upscale condo developments often come with 24/7 security and devices like surveillance cameras and visitor management systems. You can expect every unit and hallway to be equipped with fire sprinklers and smoke detectors. Luxury condominiums offer higher-level security with features such as resident-only elevator access, 24-hour doorman, and security-locked entrances for amenities.If you live alone or have to be away often, the peace of mind you get knowing your property is secure is priceless.
Condo rules and regulations
Every condo community or building has a certain set of rules and regulations.
This is put in place to promote safety, maintain the common areas, and establish harmony among members of the community.
Condo rules and regulations are enforced by a condo association, commonly known as a homeowners’ association or HOA.
What is an HOA?
HOA or Homeowners Associations refers to a private association made up of the homeowners in the community. Their responsibility is to oversee, maintain, and manage the shared areas in the condo community. HOA establishes rules and regulations to preserve the quality of the neighborhood.
HOAs require condo owners to pay mandatory monthly dues, which are used to fund the maintenance of the common areas, the facilities, and the building, as well as services like security, trash management, and so on.
HOA fees differ based on the area and the condo’s amenities. Before buying into a condominium property, find out what the fees are and see how they might impact your monthly budget.
Homeowners Association rules
If you buy into a condo community with an HOA, you have to abide by the rules, conditions, and restrictions that they have set. These can include details like maintenance requirements, parking, number of pets, and so on.
A condo’s rules and regulations are spelled out in a Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions, or CC&Rs. Here are some examples of common HOA rules:
- Noise level restrictions
- Pet regulations include what kind and how many pets you can have
- Rules for reserving or sharing the common areas
- Home maintenance and appearance regulations
- Parking regulations as to what type of vehicles are allowed inside the community and the speed limit to observe
- Rental guidelines
- Occupancy limitations
- Paying your monthly HOA fees and penalties for delinquent payments
Some HOAs have been known to have very restrictive rules, so before you buy into any condo community, be sure to get a copy of the CC&R and review it closely.
Condo etiquette: Being a good neighbor
While it is fun and convenient to live in a condo, sharing a building and being in close proximity with other residents can have its own challenges. Keep in mind some condo etiquette in order to foster a good relationship with your neighbors.
- Be mindful of noises and vibrations as they can be easily heard or felt in adjacent units.
- Be friendly but respect others’ privacy. Try to get to know your neighbors but avoid seeming too intrusive. As much as possible, settle disagreements or complaints amicably. Foster a good relationship with other condo owners as they can be very helpful when you have an emergency or need someone to keep an eye on your place when you’re away.
- Guide your children. When bringing the kids to play or use the pool and other common areas, explain the rules to them, particularly about keeping the noise level down, disposing of trash properly, and taking care of play equipment.
- Look after your pets. If you’re allowed to keep pets in the condo, you will be responsible for any inconvenience they may cause to guests and other residents, as well as for any damage to the property. Clean up immediately if they make a mess in common areas and find a way to manage the noise they might make, especially at night.
- Use common areas responsibly. Remember to keep the noise level down, use equipment with care, and avoid leaving trash and litter.
- Keep your area clean. Follow the trash disposal schedule, use the right trash bins, and keep your surroundings tidy.
Guide to buying a condo in Scottsdale, AZ
Buying a condo is very similar to buying a single-family home, but it also comes with specific nuances. Here’s our step-by-step guide to buying a condominium in Scottsdale, AZ
1. Make sure you’re financially prepared
Similar to single-family homes, buying a condo starts by asking yourself if you’re financially ready for such a major undertaking, and how much you can afford to spend. Assess your finances and look into where to get funding for the purchase. Will you pay in cash or will you apply for a mortgage?
Generally, getting a mortgage for a condo is harder compared to a single-family house. Lenders see multi-unit developments like condos as riskier investments, so they typically have stricter requirements in financing such a property. Review your credit score, debt-to-income ratio, and other credentials and see if they need to be improved.
2. Get pre-approved
Before shopping for a condo, it’s best to first get mortgage pre approval. This will help you know how much loan you can get from a lender, which you can use in setting a budget. Pre-approval is also important as it lets sellers know you’re serious about buying.
3. Hire a real estate professional
Working with the right Realtor will help you have a smooth and successful condo buying experience. Your Realtor has the knowledge and resources to provide you with the guidance you need in making informed decisions. They can help you zero in on the right property, negotiate strongly on your behalf, work on the many requirements for closing, and so much more.
It’s best to work with a Realtor who has a strong experience in the condo market. They would be familiar with developments in the area and can help you find the property that matches your needs and requirements faster than if you were to do it on your own.
4. Determine your options
As previously discussed, you need to have a clear idea on how you plan to use the condo and what you’re looking for in one. Here are some tips to keep in mind when looking for the right property:
- Consider your lifestyle. Unlike in detached single-family homes, living in a condo means you’re in close proximity and sharing walls with other people. It is necessary that you conduct your research before deciding to buy. Make sure the condo property that you choose suits your lifestyle. You have to be comfortable with the ambiance of the property and ideally live with neighbors you can get along with. It’s also important to find out the restrictions of the condo association and weigh if you can live with those rules.
- Look into the location of your condo unit within the community. The location must be a good fit for your needs and lifestyle. If you have school-age kids, look into nearby schools. If you love golf or other outdoor activities, consider buying a golf property or one close to parks and nature destinations. If you need regular medical attention, see if there are nearby hospitals or medical centers. In choosing a unit, it’s ideal to pick one that’s far from the elevators, mechanical room, and trash room. The high traffic in these areas might disturb your privacy and undesirable smells might reach your unit.
- Survey the common areas and amenities. Take time to assess the state of the amenities and common areas. Do a visual inspection of walls and floors and run an actual test of gym equipment to check if they are properly working. Unkempt and poorly maintained common areas are signs of a poorly run HOA.In doing your condo tour, ask who oversees the daily operations and handles the requests of residents.
5. Make an offer
Once you find the condo that you like, it’s best to make an offer through your Realtor. A professional would have the expertise to determine if a condo is reasonably priced and how much room you have for negotiations. They can also help you find ways to sweeten a deal while making sure your interests are protected.
6. Meet the HOA of the condo
Moving into a condo community requires you to join the Homeowners Association (HOA) and pay the monthly dues. After you’ve shortlisted potential condos, take the time to meet with their respective HOAs and get information on the application procedure, CC&Rs, and the fees. Ask for the condo’s financial statements so you can gauge if the property has sufficient funding and is being managed effectively.
7. Condo inspection
A common misconception is that a condo inspection is no longer needed since there is an HOA or property manager who oversees the maintenance of the place. However, while the HOA looks after the building and the common areas, you as the owner will have sole responsibility for the upkeep of your unit, so you have to make sure a prospective property is in good condition before you buy it.
Getting a professional condo inspector is an integral part of the process. Inspections often covers areas that are hard to access, such as the crawl spaces, basements, garages, and common areas adjacent to your unit. The inspector will look for any signs of a bigger problem, such as cracks and damage on walls, and will check for major issues like water damage, the condition of the smoke alarms, unpleasant smells, and electrical and HVAC systems.
8. Closing the deal
Your Realtor, lender, and title company will all work together to make sure all the necessary documents are ready for closing day. Review the closing disclosure and closing costs, which should include your condo association fees, escrow fees, title insurance, filing fee, and more.
Your Realtor can help you in resolving unforeseen issues before closing.
Ready to buy your condo in Scottsdale?
Allow us, The Matheson Team, to assist you in finding the right property among the amazing condominiums in Scottsdale, AZ. As one the leading RE/MAX teams around the world, we have the expertise to guide you in finding and buying the perfect condo property to match your needs and preferences.