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We have a 26 unit condo in PA. Five of the units are owned by nonresident owners. The board would like to amend the bylaws to prevent any new investment/rental properties in the building. Do we need an attorney for this? Is it costly? Any suggestions? When parents buy a condo they put it in their son/daughter's name. They cannot serve on a board and it is difficult enough to find people to serve. Will additional units with owners who do not live in the building lower our property value? Thank you for your help.
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I am in the process of purchasing a condo. There was previously a HOA in place but 3 of the 4 owners either sold their property or foreclosed. Now, there is technically an HOA in place but it is not active. The 4 condos are on a city street and as such, the common area is limited to a few square feet of plants. They want to charge each unit $275/month. My question is, will I be obligated to pay this fee if I am purchasing the condo at a time where the HOA is not in effect? Can they knock on my door weeks or months after I purchase the property and demand I sign up for the HOA and pay the (what I believe to be excessive) HOA fee?
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I'm a member of a condo board of a newly constructed low rise in New Jersey. Construction was completed during the past year. Although the developer still retains about 1/3 of the units, he has relinquished control of the condo board. We've had our initial condo association elections, and the board has met several times.
My question(s) relate to the need for engineering reports. I've heard from certain sources that engineering inspections and reports are advisable during the developer transition process. While I understand why this would make sense, I'd like to know a bit more about what is customary, and whether it's really necessary in incase of any indications of any construction defects.
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The property management company is not forthcoming and I assume there are financial difficulties. I am a first time home buyer - but wish to push the envelope to try to see where things stand - because really want this unique condo unit. Is there a place to see budget, minutes of the condo meetings and other info helpful info? I know they might be missing insurance - and want to find out exactly what is going on and if/how it will be remedied or if there is a possibility going to receivership - and or how many foreclosures in bldg can you please advise if there is a place to look or how to do research?
Answer: Unfortunately, you can only get a condo association's financials if someone involved with the association provides them to you. I would suggest you contact the seller of the condo unit or try to identify members of the condo association board. There is no easy way to find out if the condo association insurance is paid for. You can call your country registry of deeds and find out if there are any liens against the condo units in the building by the condo association.
Generally speaking, if no one wants to provide financials you should walk away for the condo unit, even if you're emotionally attached.
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When you think you've found the perfect unit, you have your down payment ready, your going to call the mortgage lender and you're ready sign on the dotted line, hold off for a moment. Are you sure you are completely prepared to buy into a community property? Do you know everything there is to know about your future home? Are you really ready to buy into a condo association?
One of the best places to look for hidden dirt on your future home is in the minutes of the condo association board meetings. Anyone with complaints will likely come before the board and if you notice several of the same complaints, you may be buying into a lemon or simply a property that is poorly managed. You don't want to be part of either one.
Has there been a history of missing payments from your future neighbors? You should be able to find the delinquency records for the building. High rates of delinquency, or even moderate ones, are a sign of bad things to come. One problem is that the condo owners are having financial trouble which can lead to more distressed sales that bring down prices. In addition, when the condo owners are delinquent less money is paid into the project for common area maintenance and expenses.
Condo Repair/Reserve Fund
Owners pay into a repair and reserve fund. Research the fund to see how much it contains. Older properties should have as much as 50% of the estimated costs of refurbishing the building and grounds in the fund for planned improvements, new fixtures or roofing, and emergencies. Newer buildings should have at least 10-25%. Make sure to carefully review the condition of the property, not just the unit you intend to buy but the exterior of the building and the common areas as well.
Condo Association Insurance
Make extra sure you take a look at the insurance on the property. Find out if replacement costs and costs of rebuilding are correct and find out if the property has a building ordinance clause. This pays for improvements to the building to bring it up to date as ordinances change. You should also be sure you know how much of your unit and personal property is covered by the building insurance policy and be sure to make up the difference with your own insurance.
Utilize the services of a real estate lawyer to work through all the paperwork and condo bylaws of the condo association to be sure everything is up to snuff. The laws should not only make sense for the units, they should also be in line with state and local laws as well. Your lawyer can also head over to the local courthouse to check and see if any suits have been brought against the property.
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Question : I live in a condo complex and serve as a director for the homeowners' association. Every time a new owner moves in, we have to change all our office records, issue new keys to the security gate and repaint hallway walls that have been scuffed up by movers To offset the cost of doing all this, we've been thinking about charging future buyers in the complex a $100 or $200 fee before they're allowed to move in. Would this be legal?
Answer : Probably. A growing number of condo associations across the country are charging "movein" fees to help defray the cost of doing all the work that's involved when someone new moves in.
Before you and your fellow board members enact a move-in charge, however, you should talk to the association's attorney and property managers. If a future buyer challenges the fee, it might be hard to collect if the association can't justify it.
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