Do You Have to Join an HOA?

You’ve found the perfect house, in the perfect neighborhood, for the perfect price. But then you find out it’s in an HOA and you will be charged a monthly fee. Perhaps this isn’t what you had in mind and you don’t really know much about what HOAs are all about. You may have heard stories […]

What is an HOA Estoppel? (TX)

Estoppel is a legal concept meaning that someone certifies the accuracy of certain facts as of a specified date. A lender or bank requires an estoppel letter or certificate from the homeowners association prior to closing on a property within the HOA.     Read the article…………………………………

What Is An HOA Demand Payoff Letter?

Homeowners are often surprised to discover additional fees and documents that are required before they can sell their property. For those who have received an HOA demand payoff letter, know that you are required by law to submit this requirement. To make the process clearer, here’s what you need to know about an HOA demand […]

Who Pays for the HOA Resale Package? (TX)

If you’re in the market of buying or selling a home within an HOA, you’ll most likely come across the requirement for a resale package as part of the process. Not familiar with what a resale package is? Hopefully this article will help!    Read the article………………………………

HOA basics: What is a restrictive covenant?

When you buy a home in a homeowners association, or HOA, the association has certain rules owners must follow. These rules are called restrictive covenants, and they can make a difference in what you’re allowed to do with your property. Before you buy a home in an association with restrictive covenants, make sure you understand […]

Variety of factors can affect condo square footage

Q: I am on the board of a condo association and it was brought to our attention by a past owner who was selling his unit, that a potential buyer noticed that the par value noted in the governing documents of our association did not match that in the multiple listing services in our local […]

What Do My HOA Fees Cover?

Common questions posed by potential homeowners considering buying within an HOA often center around assessments. Prospective owners want to know what assessments cover, how much they will be, and if they’re worth the added expense. Some buyers may even hesitate to close the deal at the prospect of required fees.    Read the article……………………………..

County judge orders Marco Island condo association to stop ‘unreasonable’ screening practices for new buyers (FL)

A Collier County Court judge has ordered the Crescent Beach Condominium Association on Marco Island to get rid of its “unreasonable” financial screening practices for new buyers.  The unusual ruling follows a bench trial a few weeks ago for an unusual case brought by a prospective buyer in small claims court.     Read the article………………………………..

What You Need to Know About HOA Fees

Too many people fail to pay attention to the impact HOA fees have on homeownership. HOAs are serious about collecting the fees owed to them. When fees are unpaid, it can have devastating consequences for current homeowners and people looking to buy another home who left unpaid fees behind at a previous community. However, HOA […]

Rising Seas Threaten an American Institution: The 30-Year Mortgage

Up and down the coastline, rising seas and climate change are transforming a fixture of American homeownership that dates back generations: the classic 30-year mortgage.  Home buyers are increasingly using mortgages that make it easier for them to stop making their monthly payments and walk away from the loan if the home floods or becomes […]

Turtle Creek condo complex up for grabs (TX)

Owners of a Turtle Creek condo complex are offering their property up for redevelopment.  The Turtle Creek Gardens Condominiums Homeowner’s Association has hired commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield to find a buyer for the 4.5-acre property     Read the article……………………….

How To Create A Helpful Community Welcome Packet

When new homeowners join your HOA or condo association, you want to make sure that they have a pleasant experience upon arrival. As a board member in your community, you want to be confident that you foster a relationship of friendliness and trust from your very first interactions. There are a few things that you […]

Don’t let your condo dream turn into a nightmare (VA)

Once a purchase contract has been ratified, you should receive a Resale Certificate Package. The Resale Certificate is full of information, a lot of which can seem boring and irrelevant, but there is some particularly important information you do not want to breeze by.  Take the time to read. Purchasers have three days from delivery of […]

HOA Estoppel Letter: Short Guide for Community Association Board Members

An estoppel letter is a legally binding document that certifies the amount of money a home seller owes to the Homeowners’ Association (HOA). Since real estate lingo varies from one state to another, different people use different names to refer to the HOA estoppel letter. Other terms used to refer to a HOA estoppel letter […]

New Mexico law protects condo buyers

Buying a condominium is a great lifestyle choice for many people. From downsizing retirees to busy professionals who don’t have time to worry about maintenance and yard work, owning a condo can be just the right ticket. Many people tend to think of a condo as a house without a yard, but it’s far more […]

Homeowners Association Rules You Need to Know (CA)

A homeowners association is a legal organization made up of community members who volunteered to carry out governing documents. These documents include Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) that include common homeowners association rules that homeowners need to know.    Read the article…………………………..

A Guide for Moving Out of Your HOA

You are considering the move from your home or condominium. You have begun to make a mental map of all of the processes and steps that you will need to take care of. The reality is moving is a daunting and stressful endeavor and it is easy to overlook or forget everything that needs to […]

The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Home in a Community Association (HOA)

Whether you’re buying your first home or your fifth, you’ve probably run into some homes that are a part of a community or homeowner’s association. You may be familiar with the monthly fees, some benefits, and restrictions of living in a home with an HOA, but it can often be more complicated than what you […]

Realtors Beware: Your Client’s Country Club Exclusion Can Come Back Around to Bite You (CA)

In January 2016, plaintiffs and appellants, Michael Dubasso and Jenny Dubasso (collectively, the “Dubassos”), purchased a home in the Tradition community (“Tradition”) in La Quinta, California. The Dubassos hired real estate agent Kathleen O-Keefe (“O-Keefe”) and LQR Desert Real Estate, Inc. (“LQR”) as their real estate agent and broker, respectively. Shortly after closing escrow, the […]

How to Market Your Community to Millennials

Ensuring that your community is ready to meet the diverse needs and wants of a changing generation can seem overwhelming. Still, as the demographics of homebuyers begin to shift, your community needs to be prepared. Millennials are getting older, and at more than 83 million people, represent a quarter of the U.S. population. As a […]

Best advice on HOAs: Learn to live with it (AZ)

There’s little chance of escaping HOAs in Green Valley and Sahuarita, and for the uninitiated to the various types of organizations, the experience could lead to ruffled feathers on all sides.  Homeowners Associations in the United States have grown by leaps and bounds, and their impact on homeowners has grown with them.   Read the article…………………………

Transferring Title within a Condominium Association (FL)

Is a unit owner who transfers title from an individual capacity to a corporate entity or LLC required to obtain Association approval? The answer is often not simple as the transfer of title does not necessarily result from a sale. There are many different types of title transfers including gifts, devices, transfers between related entities […]

The rise and effects of homeowners associations

In the U.S., nearly 60% of recently built single-family houses, and 80% of houses in new subdivisions, are part of a homeowners association (HOA). We construct the first near-national map of HOAs using publicly recorded mortgage records for single-family homes. We use these data to document the growth and characteristics of HOAs as well as […]

Moving out of Your HOA? Here’s What You Need to Do

Most people are familiar with moving. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a person will move houses just over 11 times throughout their lifetime. But, when your home is part of a homeowners’ association (HOA), even the moving pros can be left wondering what to do. With more than 40 years of HOA experience, we’ve […]

Who is Responsible for Condo Repairs?

Q:  Our condominium board requested an owner make an exterior repair to comply with our architectural guidelines. The repair was never made, and the owner is now listing the unit for sale. What do we need to do during the buying and selling process to be sure the repair is made? Could the association be […]

Updated Condominium FHA Approval Rules

On September 12, 2019, our office published a blog explaining the new FHA Condominium Approval Rules that became effective on October 15, 2019, which includes the single-unit approval process. The purpose of these new rules was to create more opportunity for individual condominium owners to obtain FHA insured mortgages. As many condominium associations are learning, […]

Important Tips About FHA Condo Approval (TN)

There has been a great deal of debate about how to successfully afford housing for the younger generations in the United States that have larger financial strains due to excessive debt or limited credit history. The federal government has made an effort to create a policy that enables less-established prospective buyers to have the potential […]

Those new FHA condo regs have wide-reaching implications (IL)

This past October, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) enacted long-expected changes to the regulations governing condominium purchases. While these amendments will hopefully ease more prospective homebuyers’ affordability woes, the wider commercial real estate industry will feel the effects as well.    Read the article……………………….

Condo Contract Crisis? Lawsuits May Line up as Purchasers Try to Jump Ship (NY)

The National Law Review is alerting litigators to be prepared for a rash of lawsuits related to a possible looming housing recession, likening the outlook to what happened in 2008’s economic crash. As the condo developers of a decade ago notified their contract purchasers of their projects’ impending completions, many of those would-be owners sued […]

Judgments must be disclosed to potential buyers (IL)

Q: Our condominium association has been cited on numerous occasions with building code violations that require actual court appearances. Do these matters need to be included in the 22.1 disclosure?   Read the Q&A……………………………….

Cielo makes changes to its ‘restrictive’ real estate rules

Behind the gatehouse at Cielo, the secluded streets wind up and up through the sprawling and hilly 1,400-acre residential community in Rancho Santa Fe. The 373 homes inside Cielo offer killer views with some of the highest vantage points along the coast, stretching from La Jolla to Lake Hodges and the mountains.  Trouble was, no […]

New Rules For FHA Financing – What Board Members Need To Know (FL)

For some home buyers, financing the purchase of their new home can be a barrier to entry. Many home buyers need the benefit of an FHA backed loan for their lower interest rates. The Federal Housing Authority (FHA), a part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), has provided mortgage insurance on loans […]

HUD Issues Mortgagee Letter on Condo Origination Requirements

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a new Mortgagee Letter (ML) late Thursday updating the origination requirement for FHA mortgages on condominium units, applicable to both the traditional, forward mortgage and reverse mortgage programs simultaneously. The letter provides additional clarification ahead of the rule’s implementation on October 15.    Read the article………………………….

Questions to ask before signing an HOA agreement (AL)

Buying a new home is a major purchase, buying a home with a homeowners association is an even bigger deal.  WBRC received an email from a woman who claims she owns a condo at Woodside Condominiums in Center Point.   She claims the roof inside of her unit had caved in and was covered in black […]

Buyer Beware: Things To Consider Before Purchasing A Condominium

As the old saying goes, ‘every man may justly consider his home his castle and himself as the king thereof.’ However, when purchasing a condominium unit, your powers as king (or queen) and the ability to do as one pleases within your castle are greatly limited. The fact is that most purchasers of condominiums are […]

HOA Homefront: Changes in condo lending rules – what it means (or doesn’t) to you

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has issued revisions to its condominium lending rules, effective Oct. 15. Here’s a brief rundown of HUD’s lending rules and what’s changed.  In 2009 HUD began predicating FHA condo loans on the entire project being approved by meeting certain minimum guidelines. HUD slightly loosened its rules in 2012, […]

HOAs: Responsible maintenance vs. meddlesome board members (CA)

Homeowners Association or HOA is a term that can cause panic among house-shoppers and scare them away from buying a condominium, which invariably comes with monthly association dues ranging from the mid-$100s to nearly $1,000.   Read the article………………………