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Melody, Home Buyer in Foothills

What exactly is a "detached condominium"?

Asked by Melody, Foothills Tue Jul 24, 2007

We are looking at a house that is zoned as a detached condo. The houses in the development are all completely separate with full sized driveways and fences between the lots (about 4500sq feet) although the street in the development is technically a driveway (cared for by hoa). Will the zoning have an impact on resale?

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"Condominium" refers to type of ownership versus style of building. Units are individually owned, while common areas, grounds, and structures are owned by all of the owners together and managed by an asociation.

As you described your property, the street would not be a public street, but rather owned by all the owners and therefore managed by the HOA. The resale will depend upon on how well the HOA manages the asset. What are the costs versus how does the complex look? If the street maintenance, and common grounds are large, the monthly fees must factor this, and the reserves for capital improvements must be adequate to meet the future needs. If this is an established condominium, find out about the reserves and plans for upgrades and maintenance.

Please take the above only as a guide to questions worth discussing. I am taking my best educated guess from limited information.

Best of luck!

Deborah Madey - Broker
Peninsula Realty Group, Inc.
New Jersey
Deborah@PeninsulaFirst.com
3 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 24, 2007
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Red Bank, NJ
MVP'08
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Hello Melody and thanks for your question.

Here is the actual answer to your question. A "detached condominium" is the same thing as a single family detached home, however, the "boundaries" or "envelope" of the condominium (which is normal circumstances cover only the area bounded by the exterior walls) has moved to the outer edges of the lot. Thus, you have a home that looks like a single family home, has a yard like one, and even has fences, etc., but it is a condominium.

So the question to ask is "why" are these classified as "detached condominiums" and not "detached single family homes in a planned development? By the way, a planned development is a very specific type of home ownership NOT to be confused with a condominium? In most cases it is because the City has a very specific requirement for lot sizes in order for a home to be classified as single family detached. When the developer seeks to make smaller lots (for example, 4500 square feet rather than 6500 square feet), to get around the minimum lot size requirements, the developer and City will categorize the homes as condominiums, but still make everything within the boundaries of the "lot" or condominium "envelope", the maintenance responsibility of the homeowner.

So there you have it. A condominium that is truly a single family detached home, but has been made a condominium to allow for smaller lots and more homes per development.

Good luck!!

Sincerely,
Grace Morioka, SRES, CID (Common Interest Development) Expert and Consultant
Area Pro Realty
San Jose, CA
co-Author, "Homeowners Associations: A Guide to Leadership and Participation"
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 8, 2010
Hi Melody,

It can't hurt to ask them to honor your request to have a Realtor represent you. I would recommend that you contact the developer and explain that you want to have your own representation and may decide not to go forward if that is denied.

If a Realtor contact the developer, the developer may be inclined to say no, believing the buyer is already 'theirs" and they needn't work with the agent. If you speak honestly about your desire to have your representation, a responsible management person for the developer may see their way to acknowledge your request. I would take the request to a management level.

The builder's sales representatives are working on behalf of the developer's interests. I am not a potential representative for you since I am on the Atlantic Ocean, but am happy to contribute any input that could be useful or helpful for you.

Best of luck!

Deborah Madey - Broker
Peninsula Realty Group, Inc.
New Jersey
Deborah@PeninsulaFirst.com


Deborah Madey - Broker
Peninsula Realty Group, Inc.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 24, 2007
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Red Bank, NJ
MVP'08
Contact
Melody, which area is the development in? Let me know if it's anywhere next to me, maybe I'll be able to pull up comparables for you. You can also ask the developer to give you a list of comparable homes sold in the area and in their development.

I'd be happy to assist if I can. Just let me know.

Irina (Irina@Irina4RealEstate.com)
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 24, 2007
Hi There,

In my community, a detached condominium is free-standing, like a single family house, but all of the land the homes are situated on within a particular development are owned by the entire association, not just the unit owner. Builders in my market do this to get around minimum lot requirements and to offer reduced tax and insurance bills to the residents while maximize the units they are able to sell individually.

Melissa Mancini, Realtor, CBR, GRI
Web Reference: http://MelissaBMancini.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 24, 2007
Zoning has a huge impact on your future resale. Before you buy ask about special assessments and ask to see the HOA budget.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 9, 2011
Dear Melody,
A detached condominium is an unusual term for this type of home. Ususally, this is called a PUD which is a plaaned unit develpement. This sounds more like what you are describing. These usually have excellent resale and sell for much more than a condo/townhome because of their individual yards. THey will not sell as much as a single family home but if it is new, I have seen them sell for as much as a older single family home in the same area.

Happy House Hunting,

Mary
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 2, 2007
Just my two cents towards your comment about the fact that they won't pay a realtor if the buyer didn't bring the agent through at the first visit. That's standard practice for my area. When I've sold properties like this, the developer uses their own contract and their own rules with regard to how the sale will proceed, even selecting which lenders buyers may use.

It's completely up to your comfort level with this type of situation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 27, 2007
Condomimium really refers to how the HOA is set up. We all often think of condos as a single or group of high rise type buildings with individual owners of particular apts. You could probably also set the property up as single family residences with HOA or as a Co-op, or various other entities. This developer has just decided to set it up as Condo association. I'd be wary of buying from anyone who doesn't want you to get representation. Ask again and if they refuse make sure you have an attorney review all contracts BEFORE you sign.
Web Reference: http://www.teamlynn.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 26, 2007
Bruce Lynn, Real Estate Pro in Coppell, TX
MVP'08
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It's a new development that we happened to go look at the model homes. We didn't have a realtor with us and they had a sign that said that unless buyers came with a realtor on their first time through, they wouldn't give the realtor a commission (I think it's a pretty sleazy practice). How can we find out if it's a good deal without one? Or would a realtor ever help someone out without the commission?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 24, 2007
Dear Melody, it almost sounds like you are purchasing a Planned Unit Development (PUD). THese are stand alone homes with their own driveways and garages.

I work in the Pasadena, CA area and in our market a detached condo is a condominium where parking is not attached to the building, i.e. maybe a separate, stand alone garage or parking spaces away from the condo.

As far as the resale value goes, most likely this home's price has already been adjusted for the zoning that it's in. Make sure that you are represented by a good real estate consultant to ensure that you are getting a good and reasonable price. It will definitely be a little less than a Single FAmily Residence. How much less will depend on the area and market conditions? When you sell, you'll need to adjust your selling price based on the market conditions.

Good luck with your purchase,
Irina
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 24, 2007
Other factors to consider is that grounds maintenence is generally part of your association dues. You should investigate this. There are also often strict rules about architectural standards, colors, etc. for the exterior of the home.

The zoning should not have an impact on resale,but I would really consult with a local Realtor who knows that specific market.
Web Reference: http://mioaklandcounty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 24, 2007
Maureen Fran…, Real Estate Pro in Birmingham, MI
MVP'08
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