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.
The Home Inspection
The Home Inspection

The Home Inspection

  |   By AuthorMy First Apartment
Even after your offer is accepted, there are several steps before you actually own the condo. One of those steps is the home inspection. It’s something you arrange and it’s often treated as perfunctory or unimportant. In fact, though, the process should be taken seriously. Here are some tips and guidelines. What is a home…
How to Make an Offer on a Condo
How to Make an Offer on a Condo

How to Make an Offer on a Condo

  |   By AuthorMy First Apartment
So you’ve found the condo of your dreams. You’ve visited a couple of times, you’ve checked out the Association and you’re sure: this is the one you want. It’s time to put down an offer. While the process is straightforward, deciding the amount you want to offer can be a bit more complex. Have a pre-determined…
The Condo Down Payment: How Much to Put Down?
The Condo Down Payment: How Much to Put Down?

The Condo Down Payment: How Much to Put Down?

  |   By AuthorMy First Apartment
When considering how much you can afford to pay for a condo, the down payment often looms large. And for good reason: it’s a lot of money. But what precisely is a down payment? And how much of one should you make? First things first: a down payment is that amount of money you pay…
Your Condo Closing: What to Expect
Your Condo Closing: What to Expect

Your Condo Closing: What to Expect

  |   By AuthorMy First Apartment
For a first-time buyer the closing is fraught with anxiety. This is the moment when you’ll finally own your property, the point of no return. While this sentiment is accurate, keep in mind that the closing is usually a formality – a necessary formality, but a formality nonetheless. In other words, by the time you…
What is a Condo Association?
What is a Condo Association?

What is a Condo Association?

  |   By AuthorMy First Apartment
When you’re buying a condo, you’re essentially buying an apartment, right? Yes and no. You’re actually buying more than just your living area. You also have an interest in all the common areas around your unit, like the hallways, the lobby and the grounds. Since you own a share of the building, you need to…
Making Your New Condo Yours
Making Your New Condo Yours

Making Your New Condo Yours

  |   By AuthorMy First Apartment
When you buy, you’re in an enviable position. All of a sudden, after years of renting and having to put up with the paint color, light fixtures, appliances and carpeting that are already in the unit, you get the opportunity to really decorate. And not even just decorate – you can remodel. It’s a heady…
Should You Buy a Fixer-Upper?
Should You Buy a Fixer-Upper?

Should You Buy a Fixer-Upper?

  |   By AuthorMy First Apartment
In the course of your hunt, it’s likely you’ll come across a place that has a lot of potential. It might not be exactly what you want, but with a redone kitchen, new lighting, a second bathroom and freshly stained floors, it would be fabulous! In other words, you’ve stumbled upon the classic fixer-upper. It’s…
The Pre-Closing Walkthrough
The Pre-Closing Walkthrough

The Pre-Closing Walkthrough

  |   By AuthorMy First Apartment
It seems like everything is in place. Your offer has been accepted, the unit has been inspected, you’ve secured a mortgage and found insurance. You’re a few days from closing. All that’s left is transferring money for the down payment and a few other formalities before you actually close. Right? Yes and no. You still…
How to Work With A Contractor
How to Work With A Contractor

How to Work With A Contractor

  |   By AuthorMy First Apartment
Once you’ve got your place, you’re probably going to want to make a few changes. In other words: remodeling. At the very least, you’re going to want to paint. So, great! This can be an exciting project, whether it turns out to be a couple coats of paint, or a bathroom redo. If you’re exceptionally…
You Just Bought Your First Condo. What Now?
You Just Bought Your First Condo. What Now?

You Just Bought Your First Condo. What Now?

  |   By AuthorMy First Apartment
The closing went smoothly, you’ve been handed the keys and the place is yours. You did it! You head over to your new place, pop a bottle of champagne (remember to bring your own bottle opener and cups) to celebrate. After a glass of bubbly in an empty space, you realize that you might own…