While I agree with what Rick is saying here, it's really not something your agent should be pursuing for you and here's why. That's generally why the paper work is passed along to you, the buyer, so YOU can satisfy yourself as to the financial viability of the association and sign off on the rules and regs, the bylaws, the articles and the declaration. Now, it might be easier for you to have your agent do the legwork, but I would suggest having some very specific questions for him/her to ask.
But, sometimes, when you're talking to someone, you think of questions spontaneously that you didn't think of before based on the information you're receiving, so that's why you might want to chase down the information yourself, so you can have all of your questions answered and base your decisions on that, rather than just the 1 or 2 questions you pass along to your agent, which may create some significant back and forth through a middle man while your 10 day clock is ticking. Make sense??
Speaking directly with the association is the best. The people involved are almost always the residents and will be honest with you. Your agent can do this for you too.
That does seem like a low reserve amount, but you need to do some more digging. If the units are that old, you might look to see if they've had to make some substantial improvements to the property exteriors, or common areas in the past several years. This could explain why the reserves are so low. Otherwise, this association, with its low association fees, it could also be simply underfunded, or poorly managed. Always best to have your agent look a little deeper. The management company phone number is right in the MLS listing and associations with professional management companies usually have someone who's intimately knowledgeable about the finances of an association. If you don't have an agent representing you, you should consider getting one soon! Good luck!
Many loans are sold to Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac and they have criteria for what they will buy. As they are the largest buyers of loans, their criteria has been adopted by many lenders as their own. The criteria is for such things as: the % of money that is set aside, how many units are rented, and how many units are vacant. This is good criteria to follow as a guide line. If you feel an association is well run and financially stable, but it doesnâ€™t meet one of the criteria, you might want to check with banks that donâ€™t sell their loans, or with a credit union. It is important to carefully inspect the by-laws and other documents as well. Some associations make very few exceptions to the rules in place because it can be very costly to go through the legal process to change them. Other associations are flexible and allow some potted plants, changes to the structure, etc. The rules are there to protect the community by keeping the homes sellable in the future.
If you would like help finding a home, please give me a call. My fees are generally paid for by the seller.
Carolyn Jass, Realtor
Twin Cities Real Estate, Equal Housing Opportunity
I would suggest you talk to the people at the association and keep asking questions until you understand. In my opinion, the most important information is to know how the financials are structured, insurance, maintenance schedule not only for the buildings themselves but for the grounds and landscaping, like how often does snow shoveling get done? do they shovel the walks and porches or only driveways and streets? that kind of thing.
BUT, I'm not the authority on such things. From this point forward, if you are looking for more specifics of what you SHOULD be asking, i would consult an attorney.
Since the docs are too many, I would like to ask, is there any information in particular I should look for, apart from Budget, and Rules and Regulations?