Moving into a condo? Make sure you know what you’re getting into (IL)

Kate Liebelt moved into her condo at Park Millennium — a posh, towering 480-unit building in the Loop — in 2020 and was looking forward to enjoying the property’s pool, location and vibrant community.  But Liebelt and other residents said problems have started to surface — from broken elevators without a clear maintenance timeline to […]

Real estate exec: Troubled condo market will get worse (FL)

There is no doubt about the state of the condominium business in Florida right now. It’s in trouble. Big trouble.  And, if the predictions of a stronger than average hurricane season prove right — or even close to right — it could get much worse.  So says Greg Main-Baillie, a project manager who works with […]

HOA fees are standing out in a bad way (CA)

Affording today’s housing market isn’t always so simple, which is why HOA fees aren’t easy to digest for some buyers. Today, I thought it would be cool to graph a few decades of association fees. I’ve never actually done this before, and while I know it’s total chaos, I think it’s also interesting. What are […]

Lifting the HOA Veil

In real estate sales, sellers are required to disclose any material fact that any prudent buyer would want to know before completing a purchase. Property located over a toxic waste dump would be an obvious example of disclosure and the need for it. There are less catastrophic issues, like roof condition or a leaking crawlspace […]

Buying a condo? Understand the CC and Rs before you buy (FL)

Buying a condo is often touted as the perfect hybrid experience of “owning your own place” while still having a lot of the benefits of having a management company handle some of the major issues as if you were a tenant.  However, you don’t want to jump on a great deal for a condo without […]

Buying a Home in an HOA? Why Reviewing CC&Rs Matters

Thinking about purchasing a condominium, townhome, or other residence within a homeowners association (HOA)? Be sure to read and understand the covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) prior to closing. These rules will spell out what homeowners are allowed and not permitted to do on the property.   Read the article…………………………….

As Florida Condo Prices Fall, What’s a Condo Seller to Do?

Condo prices in Florida have been steadily falling, fueled by an increasing rate of motivated sellers.  Certainly, high interest rates are a part of this trend, but a closer look suggests that changes to the Florida Condominium Act — the state’s laws governing condominium associations — may be a major factor behind the market trend […]

Questions To Ask When Considering Buying In An HOA

Becoming part of a homeowner’s association is a growing reality of the home-buying process in the U.S. Approximately 75.5 million Americans live in a community controlled by a homeowner’s association, states the Foundation for Community Association Research. More than 3,000 additional HOAs will form this year, the foundation adds. In 2022, 84% of new-construction, single-family […]

Freddie Mac Provides Condo Associations Access to Loan Eligibility Status

While Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have developed lists of condo associations that are ineligible for participation in their mortgage programs, the challenge for associations begins with their inability to learn from the government-sponsored entities whether their communities are on the lists. In response to widespread calls to provide associations with access to the information […]

Florida real estate struggles as ‘motivated’ sellers flood market

According to Redfin, the median time a Florida home spent on the market was 57 days in March. Two years earlier, that time span was just 24 days.  “It’s also coming at a time when HOA (homeowner association) fees are going up and insurance costs are going up, and people don’t want to pay these […]

4 things to look for in a Florida condo association

When looking for a condominium, it’s not enough to scout the property. You should also look closely into the Condominium Owners Association (COA) because it’s in charge of security, trash pickup and other property matters. The COA would also require condo owners to become members of the association.   Read the article…………………………….

Estoppel Certificates’ and Other Disclosures Explained (FL)

Q: I am in the process of selling my condominium unit and recently come across the term “estoppel certificate,” but I’m not quite sure what it means. Could you provide an explanation on exactly what kind of information is included on an estoppel certificate and just how much it typically costs to get one? I’d […]

Navigating the Future of Estoppel Certificates Amid Proposed Statutory Changes (FL)

Estoppel certificates play an important role in the Florida real estate transactions process. Not only do they provide buyers and sellers with certainty regarding monies owed at the time of sale, but they also provide Florida community associations (Homeowner Associations, Condominium Associations, and Cooperative Associations) with the ability to ensure that they are able to […]

What To Expect If Your Home Is Part of a Homeowners Association

It may not be the first thing you think about when you’re looking to buy a home, but it is a question you may find yourself asking: Do I want a home that’s part of a homeowners association?  A homeowners association is a planned development of houses, often nestled in a gated community or a […]

Want to buy an older condo? You may face up to $100K in extra costs (FL)

Realtor Leslie Pires of Bustamante Real Estate in Orlando remembers when condos were one of the less expensive ways to own a home.  “There was a time – even a few years ago – when someone could say, ‘I want a $1,500 monthly mortgage,’ and you’d show them a condo,” Pires said. “Now, I’d say, […]

Insurance trends are deciding where Americans will live as planet heats

Climate change and generations of US housing and development policy are making homes, neighborhoods, and entire municipalities riskier to insure, undermining the ability of Americans to live where they choose.  The current face of this crisis is a nationwide withdrawal by the insurance industry from regions threatened by wildfires and hurricanes, particularly along the Gulf […]

“You’ve got to make changes”: why developers switch representation

Trinity Place Holdings’ condo at 77 Greenwich Street is a revolving door of sales teams.  Since sales launched in 2019, the developer has tapped four sets of brokers to take the reins, with news of the latest shakeup announced just last month. Five years in, only 40 of the tower’s 90 units have sold.  Brokers […]

Realtors’ Settlement Will Lower the Cost of Selling a Co-op or Condo (NY)

The National Association of Realtors (NAR), a powerful organization that has set the guidelines for home sales for decades, has agreed to settle a series of lawsuits by paying $418 million in damages and by eliminating a bedrock of the industry: the 6% sales commission.   Read the article…………………………….

‘It’s paradise lost’: Florida’s condo market is floundering

Karen Shipman and her husband bought a second-story condo overlooking the Gulf of Mexico in Venice, Florida when they retired in 2021, with the hopes it would be their last home.  Now, they’re no longer sure if they can afford to keep it.   Read the article…………………………….

Your Guide to HOAs

When searching for your next home, the neighborhood or community you choose matters when it comes to things like affordability, proximity to work and the right schools for your kids.  If the neighborhood you like best is governed by a homeowners association, you’ll have a few more factors to consider, from the additional monthly cost […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]