Lenders Identify Risks and Opportunities for Condo Lending (FannieMae)

With the U.S. housing market continuing to confront the significant supply shortage of homes for sale, condos may play an important role in narrowing the supply gap of affordable housing options1. While condos represent nearly 10 percent of the mortgage market, they often play a larger role in many metropolitan areas2. Condos also present unique […]

Insurance Changes Could Lead to Association Members’ Inability to Sell Their Units

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are large, government-backed companies that play a crucial role in the mortgage market. In late 2008, following the global financial crisis, the federal government took over operations at both companies, and these government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) now guarantee most of the mortgages in the United States. Read the article…………………………….

What Is a Condo? Everything You Need to Know

Tired of living in an apartment? Need to downsize? Then a condominium, or a condo, may be the home solution for you. But what is a condo?   Read the article……………………………

What Is a Homeowners Association (HOA) and How Does It Work?

A homeowner association (HOA) is an organization in a subdivision, planned community, or condominium building that makes and enforces rules for the properties and residents. Those who purchase property within an HOA’s jurisdiction automatically become members and are required to pay dues, which are known as HOA fees.   Read the article…………………………….

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to share why some condos are ineligible for loans

Federal loan guarantor Fannie Mae will make its secret “blacklist” of condos it will not finance available to condo associations and unit owners next year.Its counterpart Freddie Mac, meanwhile, will roll out new guidelines by early 2024 that will enable condos ineligible for financing to appeal their status.   Read the article……………………………….

10 things to know before you buy in a community association

Are you planning to buy a home in a community association? There are a host of advantages to buying a condominium, cooperative, or single-family home in a planned community. A well-run association will protect property values in the community, maintain common areas (and perhaps even your own property), provide access to amenities like swimming pools […]

Is there a standard for figuring out the square footage for a condominium?

Q: I recently attended an open house for a two-bedroom, two-bath condo in a south suburb of Chicago. I have seen several of the same units for sale online over the past few years.  The condo was very nice, but the square footage on the listing confused me.   Read the Q&A………………………………

Counting the True Price of Adhering to HOA Guidelines

Now, if you’re still in the market for a home and would also like to find one in a community with added features and shared amenities such as a gym, pool, tennis courts or landscaping maintenance, you might want to consider buying a home with a homeowners association (HOA).   Read the article……………………………..

10 things to know before you buy in a community association

Are you planning to buy a home in a community association? There are a host of advantages to buying a condominium, cooperative, or single-family home in a planned community. A well-run association will protect property values in the community, maintain common areas (and perhaps even your own property), provide access to amenities like swimming pools […]

The Legal Aspects of Common Areas in Real Estate Transactions

Understanding the legal aspects of common areas in real estate transactions is crucial for both buyers and sellers. These areas, often found in condominiums, apartment buildings, and gated communities, are shared spaces that all residents can use. They may include amenities such as swimming pools, fitness centers, parking lots, and landscaped gardens. The legal implications […]

Older Condo Woes Make it Harder to Buy/Sell Units (FL)

After Rich Engels’ mother died earlier this year, Engels decided to sell her condo unit in Sunrise Lakes Phase 4. He lined up a buyer, but he said the deal fell apart after the lender learned that the condo building had no wind insurance.  Lenders won’t approve mortgage loans on buildings that are not insured […]

HOA Basics (TN)

HOAs get a bad rap among homeowners, and in far too many cases, that is regrettably justified. My legal education on the subject stems from personal experience.    Read the article………………………..

Can You Refuse to Join a Homeowners Association?

Unfortunately, you cannot refuse to join a Homeowners Association, according to Chis Gooch, an attorney with Fennemore.  “If you purchase a home or condo that is subject to recorded CC&Rs, then you have effectively agreed to be subject to those rules and governance by the HOA,” says Gooch.   Read the article……………………………………

Feds Seek to Enhance HECMs for Senior Homeowners

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has is seeking industry feedback on a set of proposed policy updates to its Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program designed to improve program stability and to respond to changing market conditions……….(inc.) Allowing outstanding homeowner’s association dues to be included in the calculation of a repayment plan for borrowers who are […]

Fannie Mae keeps a secret condo blacklist. Why? (MA)

Shortly after Nicholas Perricone bought his condo in the Financial District on June 30, 2022, he joined the building’s board of trustees. That’s when he began hearing stories of fellow owners who tried to sell their units only to have the deals fall apart at the loan office.    Read the article…………………………

What is a homeowners association (HOA) and how does it work?

An increasing number of homes across the U.S. are governed by private organizations known as homeowners associations (HOAs). These groups exist to enforce community rules, maintain common areas and provide security, which can bring peace of mind to homeowners. However, living in a community governed by an HOA also requires paying dues and forgoing some […]

The Legal Significance of Estoppel Certificates in Real Estate: What You Need to Know

In the complex world of real estate transactions, an often overlooked but critical document is the estoppel certificate. Understanding its legal significance is crucial for both buyers and sellers, as it plays a pivotal role in ensuring a smooth and successful transaction. This comprehensive guide aims to shed light on the legal implications of estoppel […]

How HOA Fees Work in New-Construction Communities: What To Expect

When purchasing a new-construction home, most buyers prepare for the down payment, closing costs, and subsequent monthly mortgage payments. But one additional expense that sometimes gets forgotten in initial calculations is homeowners association (HOA) fees.   Read the article………………………………..

What is a DUCIOA?Resale Certificate and why do I?need it? (DE)

The resale certificate is a document promulgated in response to a consumer protection law in Delaware known as the Delaware Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act (DUCIOA). The law’s purpose is to disclose vital information about, among other things, a community’s financial health, a potential resident’s financial obligation, the rules and regulations that govern its residents, […]

Condo review process changes impact loans

Effective this week, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac backed loans will begin to require additional information as part of the condominium review process.  At the direction of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have worked together to update project review requirements to assist lenders in identifying projects that may have issues […]

Five Red Flags to Look For During Condo Document Review

One of the first things you should look at when evaluating a condo is whether it is in good financial health or not. In this edition of First-Timer Primer, we review five potential red flags you may encounter when reviewing documents for a condominium you are considering purchasing.   Read the article………………………..

Questions Prospective Homeowners Should Ask Before Buying Into an HOA (CO)

The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act (“CCIOA”) defines a Common Interest Community as “real estate described in a declaration with respect to which a person, by virtue of such person’s ownership of a unit, is obligated to pay for real estate taxes, insurance premiums, maintenance, or improvement of other real estate described in a declaration.” […]

What To Know About Buying A Condo

A condominium, also just known as a condo, is different from buying a house. If you’ve never bought one before, you might be surprised at just how different it can be. The process is different, in addition to the differences in the condo lifestyle.  Before you purchase, you need to understand the condo lifestyle to […]

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac New Lender Requirements Go Into Effect in September

In July, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac released updates to project eligibility standards for condominiums and housing cooperatives.  A project refers to a condominium, housing cooperative, or any multi-family common interest ownership association with more than five attached units.   Read the article………………………..

Condominium Associations Placed on Fannie Mae’s Unavailable List Face Financing Challenges

In response to the partial collapse of Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Florida, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have implemented new eligibility standards for condominium associations. These standards require associations to complete detailed questionnaires providing information on deferred maintenance, unsafe conditions, special assessments, reserves, engineering/inspection reports, and meeting minutes.   Read the article………………………..

Costs Clients May Not Know When Buying a Condominium

Investing in a condominium can be an enticing prospect for many prospective homeowners. With amenities, maintenance, and a sense of community all bundled into one package, condos offer a unique living experience.   Read the article………………………..

Look for These Red Flags in Any HOA Contract

Having a homeowner’s association (HOA) for your neighborhood or condo building brings some advantages, such as regular community maintenance and improvement. However, HOA rules can also be extremely restrictive, and while some are optional to join, others are required if you want to purchase property in the area. Moreover, HOA dues can add a lot […]

What To Ask When Buying A Condominium

Before buying a condo, it’s crucial to ask the right questions. Understand your ownership rights and the reserve fund’s financial status. Familiarize yourself with the condo’s rules and potential pet restrictions.    Read the article………………………..

5 Details You Should Really Pay Attention to in HOA Contracts

Homeowner’s association (HOA) contracts are famously detailed — from outlining how high your grass should be to what color to paint your home. Most everyone knows that big problems can arise when HOA rules aren’t followed, but if you’ve already signed the contract, it can be tough (or impossible) to have much autonomy.     Read […]

HOA Homefront: Avoid these HOA myths

There are HOA myths that are harmful. Here are some of the most common ones. Governing documents are boilerplate. Most HOA homebuyers read their purchase contract but ignore the CC&Rs, bylaws, and rules. Those documents are binding whether or not they are reviewed, so avoid surprises and read them.   Read the article………………………..

Fannie May and Freddie Mac Release Lender Bulletins for Condo and Co-Op Mortgages – What do Illinois Condominium Associations and Co-Ops Need to Know?

In the wake of the tragic 2021 condominium building collapse in Surfside, Florida, Fannie Mae (“Fannie”) and Freddie Mac (“Freddie”) adopted temporary eligibility guidelines for loans insured by Fannie and Freddie for condominium units or co-op apartments and required the completion of a condominium project questionnaire addendum in Form 1076. Recently, Fannie and Freddie released […]

HOA Homefront — Can entities charge transfer fees? (CA)

Q. Someone who just moved told me that there is an HOA transfer fee of over $800, however it was reduced to just over $500 when he questioned the price. Even the escrow person questioned the $800+. We were involved with two HOAs in Washington State before we moved here and no transfer fee with […]

Financial Facts Condo Buyers Need to Know

Buying a condo can have several advantages over buying a house. Unlike owning a freestanding residence that occupies a plot of land, owning a condo typically involves no yardwork and allows the buyer to only pay for the condo and not the land that surrounds it.   Read the article………………………..

Homeowners’ association pros and cons (GA)

Odds are that people in the market for a new home in the Golden Isles will buy one in a neighborhood with a homeowner’s association.  Realtor Missy Neu, chief operating officer for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hodnett Cooper Real Estate, said the majority of newly developed neighborhoods have homeowners’ associations, while some of the older ones […]

Financial Red Flags for Clients Buying a Condo

Buying a condo can be an exciting step towards homeownership, offering a convenient and often more affordable alternative to traditional houses. However, being vigilant about potential financial red flags that may impact your investment is crucial.   Read the article………………………..

Deed restrictions: What to know about deed-restricted property

If you’re buying a home, or vacant land on which you plan to build one, then deed restrictions should be on your radar. These regulations restrict the way land can be used, as well as what you can build on it and what activities you can partake in while on the premises.   Read the article………………………..

What To Ask When Buying A Condominium

Before buying a condo, it’s crucial to ask the right questions. Understand your ownership rights and the reserve fund’s financial status. Familiarize yourself with the condo’s rules and potential pet restrictions.   Read the article………………………..

Co-p and Condo Buyers Are Responsible for Previous Alterations

In 2005, a shareholder at an Upper East Side co-op renovated his apartment after signing an alteration agreement in which he took responsibility for any damages that might result from the alterations. The agreement carried an additional requirement: if the apartment was ever sold, the new purchaser had to agree to assume responsibility for these […]

Condominium Closing Costs in NYC for Purchasers

It is no secret that apartments in NYC are expensive. In 2018 the average price of a condominium unit in NYC was $2,880,000. But what many purchasers and sellers fail to consider are the additional condominium closing costs in NYC that are involved in every real estate transaction beyond the purchase price.    Read the article………………………..

What your Condo Association Needs to Know About the New Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Lending Guidelines

The Surfside condominium collapse led to significant reform in the condominium lending industry. In Lender Letter LL-2021-14, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac implemented temporary lending guidelines in 2021 for condominium purchasers that desired to secure a mortgage as was previously discussed in Prepare your Condo for the new Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Lending Requirements. […]

What Do I Need to Know About My Homeowner Association?

If you own a home or rental property in a condominium or in a housing development where the homeowners share certain common property, you are probably a member of a condominium owners or homeowners association – collectively referred to as a common interest realty association or CIRA.   Read the article………………………..