Author My First Apartment
Alex Starace

Alex Starace and his wife own a condo in Chicago. Alex enjoys basketball, biking and jazz. His writing also appears regularly in My First Apartment, South Florida Opulence and TriQuarterly.
Six Wrong Reasons to Buy a Condo
Six Wrong Reasons to Buy a Condo

Six Wrong Reasons to Buy a Condo

  |   By AuthorMy First Apartment
You might want to buy a condo, but perhaps you have a sneaking feeling it’s the wrong move. Maybe you feel like you’re being pressured into it, or you just get an anxious tension when you go out hunting. Maybe your gut is telling that you are not ready to buy – yet. After checking…
How to Become a Good Condo Association Member
How to Become a Good Condo Association Member

How to Become a Good Condo Association Member

  |   By AuthorMy First Apartment
When you buy a condo you automatically become a member of your building’s (or development’s) Association. Think of it this way: by living where you do, you become a citizen of the neighborhood. You formally participate in your building’s affairs through the Association. So what should you do to make sure you become a good member in…
Choosing the Right Broker
Choosing the Right Broker

Choosing the Right Broker

  |   By AuthorMy First Apartment
Choosing your broker is one of the biggest decisions you make when beginning the search for a condominium. A good broker will give you advice, always keep her eyes and ears open for new units and be patient as you extend your search. Your broker will also point out potential issues with a condo that…
Eight Signs You’re Ready to Buy a Condo
Eight Signs You’re Ready to Buy a Condo

Eight Signs You’re Ready to Buy a Condo

  |   By AuthorMy First Apartment
You’ve been thinking about it for a little while, but you’re not quite sure. Are you really ready to buy a condo? In fact, you may be. Here are eight signs that now’s the time! 1. Money Saved. Buying property requires a large down payment, usually twenty percent. If you’ve been squirreling away money (for…
The Condo Purchase Timeline: How Long Will It Take?
The Condo Purchase Timeline: How Long Will It Take?

The Condo Purchase Timeline: How Long Will It Take?

  |   By AuthorMy First Apartment
You’ve decided to get into the market. And now you want to know how long until you’ve found and moved into your dream condo­­: a month, a year? While the time required for each step can vary significantly, we thought we’d break down the process and provide rough estimates for what you should expect. Getting…
How Does a Mortgage Work?
How Does a Mortgage Work?

How Does a Mortgage Work?

  |   By AuthorMy First Apartment
If you’re buying a place, you’re almost certain to need a mortgage. Here’s the lowdown on mortgages. A mortgage is a loan. In the most basic sense, that’s all it is – it’s a loan that allows someone to buy real estate. Like all loans, mortgages have interest rates. In other words, if you take out a…
How to Search for a Condo
How to Search for a Condo

How to Search for a Condo

  |   By AuthorMy First Apartment
It’s common to feel overwhelmed the first few times that you go to an open house. There are a lot of moving parts – there’s your realtor, the listing agent, the price of the condo, the building size, the parking situation, the association reserves, and so on. And you’re expected to take this all in…
Even if You Love the Condo: Five Deal Breakers
Even if You Love the Condo: Five Deal Breakers

Even if You Love the Condo: Five Deal Breakers

  |   By AuthorMy First Apartment
You’ve visited a condo three times and you’re ready to put in a serious offer. You’re excited. But then you learn a little bit more – and you realize that now you have second thoughts. What are some issues that should be deal breakers? Here are a few:There is no Condo Association in place. Yes,…
First Visit: How to Check Out the Condo Building
First Visit: How to Check Out the Condo Building

First Visit: How to Check Out the Condo Building

  |   By AuthorMy First Apartment
When looking for a condo for the first time, there’s a lot to consider. You may not know where to start. In fact, you need to check things out before you even set a foot inside the unit for sale. Learn about the neighborhood. Walk around the block and see if you would be happy living…
First Visit: How to Check Out the Condo Unit
First Visit: How to Check Out the Condo Unit

First Visit: How to Check Out the Condo Unit

  |   By AuthorMy First Apartment
You’re out looking at condos, perhaps for the first time. Once you’ve evaluated the neighborhood and the building of a place, it’s time to step inside the actual unit you’re interested in. When you walk into the unit, how do you feel? While you don’t need to immediately have a “Wow, this is great!” sensation, if there’s something…