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9 Awesome Steps for Buying Ocean City, MD Condos for Sale

Michael Nolen of Coldwell Banker Realty
by Michael Nolen of Coldwell Banker Realty on January 23, 2017 at 12:04 PM

Chances are you're probably search real estate online using those big nationally branded real estate websites. Don't get me wrong, they're helpful and easy to use. They really make you feel like you can do your home or condo search alone. But, there's a bunch of facts they don't have that you need. In this post, I'll share 9 helpful steps you need to be taking when buying a condo for sale in Ocean City, MD. 


Ocean Place - Oceanfront Condo Building in Ocean City, MD


#1 Get a Local Ocean City Real Estate Agent

Why should you do all of your research alone? You’re not hiring a Realtor® to open doors for you, you’re hiring a Realtor® for their local knowledge of the market.

Find out Who your Maryland real estate agent really works for in my blog. 

Maybe you feel your strategies to find Ocean City, MD real estate is best done alone, without an agent. Even if buying is only a possibility, contact a local real estate agent. You’re not wasting their time, you’re getting better educated to begin your search and not waste time looking at something that may never work out.

For example, Even if someone is not ready to buy, which are not as soon as they get the idea to start searching listings, they should have someone by their side to help them understand the market and answer their questions.

Remember, Realtors® are not just their to open doors.


#2 Get a Local Mortgage Lender

Many buyers contact a mortgage lender where they live. Maybe you have a relationship with a lender. I get it! Once you’ve built trust with a company, you don’t want to take the chance of diving into the lender shark tank. 

New call-to-actionHere’s the problem!

You may have the income, down payment, and FICO credit score to get a loan, but will your loan qualify for a condominium building in Ocean City's coastal real estate market? 

Ocean City, Maryland is full of second homes and vacation rentals. That means you may be buying in a condo building that allows owners to rent their units. Some mortgage products may not allow more than 10% of a condo building to be rented.

You’ll need to review the restrictions in the condo association documents. Local mortgage lenders are more knowledgeable and experienced with the Ocean City real estate market.


#3 Narrowing Down Your Wants and Needs

There are quite a few things to ask yourself when buying a condo in Ocean City, MD. Most importantly, you need to narrow down what you want and what you need to have in a condominium. 

Do you want to wake up to the sunrise in an oceanfront condo? Do you want amenities like a pool, parking spaces, boat slip, etc.? Are you buying for a vacation rental income or to relax?

The answers to these questions will determine:

  • The condominium that's the best fit
  • The mortgage you’ll need to buy it
  • If you can afford the cost of ownership in that building


Download my Vacation Rental Cost Guide & Income Worksheet! 


#4 Get Set Up with Automatic Listing Updates

After you contact an agent, you may be able to get set you up with your own login to a web based portal that displays all of the condos for sale in Ocean City, MD that fit you’re wants and needs. When a buyer calls me, I get them set up with a portal giving them access to all of the properties that fit their criteria.

The best part, your portal is automatically updated. You can even add properties to a favorites list, and your agent will get notified about the condos you favorite.

You’ll have instant access to:

  • New listings
  • Pending sales
  • Sold properties

This feature can help you compare condos, so you can start narrowing down the perfect beach house.


Get Free OC Listing Alerts Now!


Helpful Quick Links for Searching Listings


#5 Researching Ocean City, MD Condos for Sale Online

You should spend some time online searching Ocean City, MD Real Estate for Sale. There are some great resources out there for you. If you have an agent by your side, you can ask more questions and get direct answers from a live person not a computer.


#6 Visit Condos for Sale in Ocean City, MD

Getting a visual can greatly help you find that perfect beach place. It’s rare that a buyer will make an offer the first time visiting a property. You may want to visit several properties on more than one occasion.

For example: I like to take buyers around to several different properties so they can get a feel of the types of properties that are available.

  • Are you okay with a smaller kitchen so you can have a view?
  • Do you want more amenities because it could be easier to rent to vacationers compared to a building that doesn’t offer as many amenities?

Visiting properties will help you narrow down your wants and needs and may be able to help substitute the little things for what’s more important.


#7 Finding a Healthy Condo Association

Searching online doesn’t tell you if the condo association is healthy. You need to make sure you get a feel for the budget, delinquencies with condo association dues, the building’s condition and if assessments have been done.

Buying a condo may fail due to a condo association if it’s not healthy or if the HOA has restrictions that could affect your mortgage.


#8 Hiring a Good Home and Condo Inspector

After you make an offer and are ready to settle on your new beach house, you may want to get a home and condo inspector to help you understand the condition of the property.

Often, buyers will do a Google search for property inspectors in Ocean City. They go down the list and call the inspectors that come up in the search results to find the best deal.

The problem, many of those inspectors may not be local. As I mentioned in step #1, when hiring a local Ocean City, MD Realtor®, you're hiring them for their knowledge of the market, and agents have knowledge of credible, local resources like property inspectors, mortgage lenders, and so much more.


#9 Have a Realtor for Life Not Just for the Sale

Don’t just hire someone that’s there to close the deal. When interviewing agents, ask what they do for their customers after the sale. Many agents have marketing lists, email updates, and support for their customers. Some continually publish blog topics about Ocean City real estate.

It’s important and helpful to have someone that will continue to give you guidance and support, even after they earned their real estate commission. You never know when you’ll want to upgrade to another condo, need some fun ideas to do while on vacation, have questions in general.


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Michael Nolen of Coldwell Banker Realty
Michael brings a diverse background of mortgage, loan servicing and housing experience. Michael offers his clients a variety of helpful resources, guides and services that helps make buying and selling coastal real estate in the Ocean City, Ocean Pines, and Coastal Delaware markets. Michael has over 11 years industry experience and invests and manages vacation rental properties in the Ocean City, MD area through Nolen Invest and Nolen Vacation Rentals.
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