What is a "condo conversion"?

by Ruth Lorenzen

A "condo conversion" is when a rental apartment building has been converted into condominiums and the units, which were earlier rented, are now being sold to individual buyers.

Some developers will upgrade the condo units to be more desirable to buyers (granite counters, new kitchen cabinets, etc.), while some developers do nothing but the legal paperwork to convert the ownership style of the buildings and units. Some developers will offer you a choice of an upgraded unit or one that is "as is" or maybe a simple upgrade such as new paint and basic carpet. Some developers install new A/C handlers and hot water heaters, but others may not do that.

Some developers are very conscientious and do an excellent job with their condo-conversion project. Others are just looking for a quick buck and make the common areas pretty, make a great model while selling you a sub-standard product. So when looking at condo conversions to purchase, be sure to enquire what has been done by the developer and what sort of warranty the developer is offering.

Often, the developer will create more amenities than the original apartments had. A pool might be refurbished, a clubhouse made out of the rental management offices, add fitness rooms, upgrade the property to be a gated community, and landscaping is often updated.

Condo conversions often look like newly built condos since they are often updated inside with entirely new kitchens and appliances, new tilework and new carpeting. Condo conversions can be a really good buy and they do offer you a chance to see a completed model unit and to select which unit in the complex you want.

Comparing a condo-conversion to pre- and new-construction projects... these often require you to select your condo unit without seeing the actual unit (it's not built yet). New construction is also quite more expensive than already-existing construction, even with new upgrades inside and out.

Comparing a condo-conversion to an already existing condo in a complex that is not part of a condo-conversion project will likely only offer you the selection between only one or two units in the entire complex. These units will also vary inside as to upgrades and condition.

So if you are interested in a particular condo complex with great amenities, you may want to consider purchasing a condo while the developer is selling off all the newly converted condos. You will likely get the best price you can get for that complex and you will get more choices to select the location of unit within the complex and get the upgrades you may want in your particular unit.

Contact me if you'd like to see some of the condo conversions available for purchase in Pinellas County or click here to visit them on my website.

--Ruth Lorenzen

© 2007 Ruth Lorenzen. All rights reserved.