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5 Things To Know Before Buying a New Condo

Jessica Evans

Jessica fell in love with D.C.’s unique neighborhoods while attending the University of Maryland...

Jessica fell in love with D.C.’s unique neighborhoods while attending the University of Maryland...

Jun 2 3 minutes read

Here are five things you should know before buying a new condo in D.C.


Condos are popular in Washington D.C., and builders are desperately trying to keep up with demand. If you’re thinking about buying a new construction condo in the D.C. area, there are five things you should keep in mind:


1. New construction does not guarantee good quality. Make sure you find a reputable builder who stands behind their work. If this is the builder’s first project, I would stay away; I’ve seen too many things go wrong in this situation. Do some research and ask around so that you can be confident you’re working with a qualified professional. 


"It is nearly impossible for a developer to say when they’ll have the certificate of occupancy in hand."


2. The advertised condo fees will go up. These fees are based on the budget for the build, but they are almost always higher than anticipated. This is normal, but just be aware that your fees will likely be higher than advertised. 


3. The timeline is uncertain. It is nearly impossible for a developer to say when they’ll have the certificate of occupancy in hand. Have flexible timing and don’t give notice on your current lease or lock in your interest rate until your builder has that certificate of occupancy. Often, things will take much longer than anyone expects. 


4. Be wary of water intrusion. In my experience, water problems are the most common issue people have with new construction condos. I always recommend you do a home inspection. Since you have 15 days to complete your inspection, try to do it after heavy rainfall. If that isn’t possible, consider bringing in an expert to do a special water test. This is an issue you want to be 100% sure of before buying. 


5. The condo association has two years to pursue claims against the developer. They’ll likely have an engineer come in and look for any defects right before this period is up. However, if they find problems after two years, the only way you can be compensated is by suing the developer, which has a low chance of success. There will always be little issues, so make sure your association brings in an expert within the required time frame. 


If you have questions about today’s topic or anything else, please call or email me. Buying new construction comes with a lot of risk, and I’d love to help you navigate the process. I look forward to hearing from you! 

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