Financing in Clifton>Question Details

Homebuy, Home Buyer in Clifton, NJ

How to get certificate from City in NJ about property is Condo or Townhouse?

Asked by Homebuy, Clifton, NJ Thu Feb 25, 2010

I get a lock in document from my mortgage company now they are saying the appraisal company is saying unit is condo not a townhouse and they want to increase the rate. They told me if I can get a certificate that property indeed is a townhouse then they will hold the initial document good.

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Hi All,

Thanks a lot or you response. I am also confused with this.

One thing I found out that Condos mostly do have a common entrance where where Townhouse have their own. One thing you all said right was as long as home owners association is there and they cover outside like roof in case of townhouse and the common area like pool and all the property is considered as condo even though a townhouse has its own lot unlike condo in which case you own airspace only.

The only thing that is bothering me that mortgage company I am dealing with gave me rate lock in agreement based on townhouse that is what I told them but as the appraisal report says it is condo they are not honoring their own agreement.

My question is do can do it or not? It looks like I am paying for their mess up. Is there any way I can make them to honor their agreement.

Again thanks a lot to all of you...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 27, 2010
There are 2 types of property as far as ownership is concerned. First there is what is commonly called the single family home where the building stands on a piece of land and you own the structure and the land. Then there is the style where there are a number of units joined together like an appartment complex. This type is divided into 2 types
Condominium where you own everything within the 4 walls of the unit but the exterior is the responsibilty of a management company usually when the unit is one 1 floor is is known as a "condo" If it is on 2 or more floors it is usually called a "Townhouse"
Co operative or "Co-Op" is a type of ownership where you own shares in a corporation that in turn owns a building in which your unit is sited
Now from the point of view of a lender the banks prefer Condominium ownership as it is a more tangible asset compared to stock in a corporation.
Without knowing the property in question I cannot be of more help but I doubt that the issue is between Condo or townhouse
However if you are getting a FHA backed mortgage they will only lend on condos who's complex has been approved by the FHA and if yours is not approved then you may have been switched to an alternate lender at a higher rate/.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 26, 2010
Homebuy. - truly, townhome is only a legal description of the style - it has no bearing on the ownership type, A condo community made up of apt style units...maybe highrises,,,,,,,,,,,,,or a complex made up of attached townhomes....or even detached townhomes all have maintenance fees to cover the common areas (aka HOA fees) and bylaws that the owners must abide by. Some complxes are stricter than others with their rules, so that is something anyone buying a condo should invesitage ahead fo time. Things such as having pets, or satellite dishes or even hanging plants is governed by the bylaws. The associations usually hire a maintenance company to run thing,s...smaller complexes may not.

Homebuy..............your attorney should have asked for a copy of the bylaws during your attorney review. In any event, since you must have an attorney at this point - let him explain this confusion to you.

But, you didn't ask about bylaws.................
This idea of the appraisal company saying it is a "condo" is what is confusing. Where in Clifton are you buying? Is it possible you mistakenly called it a townhome, and the bank thought it was a duplex/fee simple, single family home?

Email me, and I'll be happy to help clarify this.

Debbie Rose
Prudential NJ Properties
email: Debbie.Rose!Prudential
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 25, 2010
One of the confusing parts is that in other areas of the country there are 2 distinct types of properties that often look the same. The difference, I believe, is that condos have an association with by-laws, whereas a townhouse does not. Is there a mangement company that controls the development? If so, I would call them and see what they say. Also, your title report may give the accurate information.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 25, 2010
Jack, I am confused, too.

Homebuy - is it possible the bank thought you were buying a duplex home - which would be fee simple ownership and not condominium form of ownership, and the appraisal has show otherwise?

Homebuy, if you are buying a townhome style unit in a complex with other townhomes - you are most likely buying a condominium.
I know it's confusing, and people often use the word condo to describe an apartment-style unit, when in fact it is the type of owenrship. Townhome is only the description of the style of the home. You can buy a townhome that is a condominium.

Let us know exactly what you are buying, and perhaps we can explain it better.

Good luck!
Debbie Rose
Prudential NJ Properties
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 25, 2010
Hi Homebuy,

I'm just a bit confused here. A condominium is technically speaking a legal term for ownership: It defines the piece of property you own as a parcel of airspace. Both condos and townhomes typically fall into this category. The only difference between the two is that condos typically are one floor arrangements (although not exclusively so) and townhomes are multifloor units. Both are considered to be condominium type ownership though. I'd recommend you contact the mortgage company and pin them down on what exactly they are looking for. From the information you've given so far I don't believe anybody could provide such a certificate.

Keep us posted; I'm curious to see what they really needed.

Jacobus "Jack" Vollenberg
RE Appraiser - Vollenberg Appraisers
Realtor/REO Asset Manager - ERA Statewide Realty
Office (908) 968-0336
Cell (973) 590-0142
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 25, 2010
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