Think you know AARP? What you don't know about us may surprise you. Discover all the 'Real Possibilities'



Contests and

Dream Vacation Sweepstakes

10 weeks. 10 amazing trips. Seize your chance to win!
See official rules. 

Driver Safety

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!


AARP Foundation Tax-Aide

You can get free, face-to-face tax assistance nationwide.

Money Matters Tip Sheets

Download and print out these PDFs to help with your financial matters.

AARP Books

Visit the Money Section

Enjoy titles on retirement, Social Security, and becoming debt-free.


Learn From the Experts

Sign up now for an upcoming Money webinar or find materials from a past session. 

Jobs You Might Like

most popular



Going to Buy a Condo? Here's What You Need to Know

4 questions you should ask before closing the deal

Is the building approved for FHA loans?

Ask the condominium manager if the building has been approved for Federal Housing Administration loans. If not, you should strongly consider another condo development because you'll most likely have difficulty getting a mortgage for any unit in that building.

Many lenders simply won't touch condominiums that are not on the FHA's approved list of condos. This is something you want to know about early in your house hunting — not after you've fallen in love with a property.

"We've had customers who have put down big down payments of $30,000 or more on condos, and then they can't get approved because the project isn't approved," says Thasunda Brown Duckett, senior vice president and Northeast region manager for Chase Mortgage, a division of JPMorgan Chase.

In some of these cases, Duckett says, buyers could lose their down payment. Duckett suggests that, before you hand over a down payment for a condo, double-check with your lender to confirm that the property you're interested in is on that bank's approved condo list. Also, in your purchase agreement, include a mortgage contingency clause stating the deal is only valid if you can get a mortgage and your bank approves the condo association and property.

What are the restrictions and limitations associated with the unit?

From parking rules to community and grounds access, make sure you fully understand what types of restrictions and limitations you are subject to as a condo owner. The condo unit is governed by a declaration and certain rules listed in the title documents.

You can review these documents on your own, or have a buyer's agent go over them with you so that you know exactly what to expect. You should also know how often and under what circumstances various condo association fees can be imposed or increased — with or without warning.

Next: Why occupancy rate matters. >>

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

your money

Discounts & Benefits