Home Selling in Waltham>Question Details

Anthony, Home Seller in Waltham, MA

What is the cost associated with drafting condo documents for a 2 family near Boston, MA?

Asked by Anthony, Waltham, MA Thu Mar 27, 2008

Home we own is legal 2 family, and we desire to sell the other unit as a condo after some renovations. How much do law firms generally charge for drafting condo documents from scratch?

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OK, please do not make condos right now. If you want to lose money you can mail it to me and I will actually set it on fire for you. If you are dead set on doing it generally you'll pay $700-1000 per plate to an architect and if there is parking another $1000 or so then you need to have the condo docs drafted by an attorney. If you are thinking you are going to do this and NET more money I would submit to you that you are wrong. I have done many many conversions- this is not the time. I would urge you to reconsider.
Web Reference: http://www.provestre.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 27, 2008

I have heard a lot of horror stories from people who have bought 2 family homes and then tried to sell one of the units as a condo. The horror stories usually involve the potential buyers feeling like the condo docs make them second class citizens as definitions of common areas, parking spaces, etc... tend to favor the person who had the document drafted Also, it is usually the case the the original owner keeps the top floor and sells the bottom. The potential buyer realized that this can be a no win situation if they have problems with overhead noise as they only have a 50% vote and therefore no power. What ends up happening is that the potential buyer complains that the condo docs treat them as a tenant rather than an owner. If you are going to do this, make sure your lawyer structures the condo docs in a way that they would be approved by a potential buyers lender.

That said, many of these 2 family condo conversion sell every year. I am just giving you a few things to consider when having the documents drafted.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 28, 2008
Wow - thanks for the quick responses. I like the one about burning money the best. To answer some of your questions: we bought in September of last year, aren't planning to sell for several years until the market turns around, plan to do renovations slowly and mostly DIY. From your responses I guess that I should wait until I am ready to sell half the house as a condo before contracting a lawyer/architect to draft the documents rather than doing it now. Is that what I'm hearing?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 27, 2008
Some attorneys will charge from $1,000 to $10,000 depending what is involved.....thanks...Jay
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 27, 2008
Jon you're right we don't, but so many owners have looked to converting in order to NET more and so many are losing and losing their shirts. A typical pattern is the seller wants more money, they either get in over their heads converting and now owe more than they should or else the project emerges not up to par with its competition. There are a host of ways to NET more and I strongly believe that this is not a route that many property owners should travel down right now.
Web Reference: http://www.provestre.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 27, 2008
LOL, if you send me money, i'll just spend it...
Brecht... they already own the home, I think condo'ing it could relieve a lot of potential economic pressure in these crazy times. What if they can cover their current mortgage with the sale of the other condo? We don't know when they bought the property... I totally agree with your estimates though.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 27, 2008
The legal docs would probably be 3-5000K after architects fees. 7-10K for the whole deal. Seriously though, don't do it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 27, 2008
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