Often when Buyer's are looking at properties they see a section on the MLS listing for 'Assoc/Com Area Fee' and some info in the remarks section as to what you get for that fee. It's always a good practice (for both you and your Realtor) to check on the details of what exactly is included in that fee, and what your rights/limitations are through that Association.
When comparing condo properties, compare not just the room sizes and other features but what is and isn't covered in the fee's. (if one association is $100/mth and another is $400/mth why the difference?). Also make sure that you find out the management company and their reputation (their relationship with the owners is an important factor to you enjoying what the common fee is offering).
Ask to see the Condo/Association 'Joint Use Agreement'. This will outline what limitation/rights you will have as an owner and what is expected of you.
Your Realtor should also be looking for other things that can affect your finances down the road:
(a) Reserve Fund (the monies used for future upkeep and repairs to the propertie) - when was the last Audit completed?
(b) Special Assessments - Has there been an audit since the property was listed and if so, was an assessment for additional costs to the owners made? How much and for how long will it need to be paid down?
There are a number of other factors to be considered as well, but the key to enjoying and choosing the right Condo/Association property for you is research w hat features they are offering that benefit you! Your Realtor will be able to help you get the right info to make an informed decision that makes your purchase into your Home.
Mike & Adam