i have been looking at condos and several in a complex that i was told wasvery nice have been on the market

Asked by Dsmith, 02050 Wed Nov 7, 2007

for months, and have had numerous price reductions. i'm beginning to think that maybe there are problems in the association that aren't outwardly obvious but that insiders may know about and are staying away. how do you get the insiders information?

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Chris Head, Agent, Norwell, MA
Wed Nov 7, 2007
Don't be too scared off by the days on market and price reductions. On much of the South Shore because there is so much inventory and few buyers, the market time is still longer than normal. As a result there are more price breaks. Having said that, you still must do your "due diligence" when you decide to pursue a condo. Your buyer's agent should request the usual condo docs (rules & regs, master deed, etc), but you should also review the association meeting minutes for at least the last six months. The meeting minutes will note any upcoming issues that have been discussed. If you're curious about condo sales acitivty in Marshfield, check the link to my blog where I have posted condo sales activity throught September. If you'd like a more comprehensive report for Marshfield or surrounding towns, just shoot me an email and I'll be happy to prepare one.
1 vote
Christina Al…, , Portland, OR
Wed Nov 7, 2007
Are you working with an agent? You can ask the listing agent for information regarding the HOA association. Or have your realtor call and ask a bunch questions and poke around. Good Luck!
1 vote
MaryBeth Mil…, Agent, Pembroke, MA
Mon Feb 9, 2015
Depending upon the complex the issue could be financing the condo. Lenders are very specific and the lender will have a condo questionnaire to be completed in order to determine whether they will fund the loan on the condo. What we have run into lately is that the FHA has made certain requirements of the condo association to collect a certain percentage of their condo fees to be held in "reserves" so although they condo complex may be solvent the % of budget collected for reserves may not be sufficient to meet their standards, if any are in a pre-foreclosure or sometimes "short sale" situation then the condo monthly fees may also be in arrears and that is something that the lender will see as a negative as they ask if any condos are in arrears. Another big item for lenders is whether the condo complex has more owner occupants than investors or non owner occupants - another double edged sword - as the prices dropped and the lack of the lenders willing to lend in some condo complexes - investors purchased with cash and thus the ratios on owner occupancy were not meeting the criteria. Condo financing has been a big issue but we are seeing a good improvement in lenders agreeing to finance, some local banks who control their own funds are more inclined to make the funds available in the past. Most importantly in the larger complexes is the agreement of the condo association and property management company to provide the necessary paperwork whether the documentation needed to be FHA approved or completion of the condo questionnaires - If I may be of future assistance in discussion of condo purchasing or if you need a good lender I could recommend for the condo purchase in the area please give me a call 781-826-9300 or my email is MaryBeth@TradeWindsRealtyGroup.com . Wishing you well in your new home!
0 votes
Kate Hannon, , Marshfield, IN
Mon Jul 19, 2010
The answer: "It depends on the complex." Without knowing property you are referring, it's hard to make a blanket statement. Most of the associations in Marshfield, however, are managed pretty well. Over the past couple of years, short sales and post foreclosures have had a major negative impact on the price of individual units as folks wait to see just how low the price will fall. Even with the bargain basement prices, these units are moving slowly and I'm beginning to believe it's because folks like you are wondering "what's wrong." If you ever have a question about a specific property and/or association, find yourself a good buyer agent and ask the tough questions. A quick look at the overall financials and budget sheets will answer most of the questions you and your accountant may have.
Web Reference:  http://www.katehannon.com
0 votes
Lisabrownsel…, , Hanover, MA
Mon Jul 13, 2009
In general the Real Estate market is pretty unstable to date. Price reductions are not uncommon. Majority of sellers start with a fairly high asking price knowing that they will have to negotiate when an offer comes in.

If you are serious about a unit and are thinking about putting an offer in your real estate agent can always work for you to get any information pertaining to the unit of interest & the association in general.

Some important questions you should have your real estate agent get answered for you are:
1.) Are there any back condo fee payments. Get the total & find out if you will be responsible.

2.) How much will the title 5 certificate run?

3.) Is the condo Association planning any updates? Is there currently money in the account to cover these?

4.) Are there are any special assessments?

5.) Has the condo association paid the master insurance policy? Are they up to date on taxes? Can you provide an up to date copy?

6.) Are there any past water bills owed?

Lisa Brown
Molisse Realty Group, Hanover MA
Web Reference:  http://www.molisserealty.com
0 votes
Barbie White…, Both Buyer And Seller, Cape Cod
Thu Jan 17, 2008
I have the same questions as you. I just think it is the market at the moment. I'm am very curious as to the difference in assessments between Ocean Place and Horizons condo complexes. I haven't asked any of the realtors due to the fact that I don't want to waste their time as my house has not yet sold.
0 votes
Jonathan Bow…, Agent, Stoughton, MA
Thu Nov 8, 2007
Hi Dsmith, I agree with Chris. This market is very slow. Without digging too much, I think the issue is more of a market issue than an issue with the condominium complex itself. Good luck, Jon
Web Reference:  http://www.bowenboston.com
0 votes
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