Q: What makes condominiums different?
A: A Condominium unit can be an Apartment, Townhouse, or even a Commercial Property. In fact, many forms of real estate may be bought and sold as condominium such as parking spaces, boat docks even vacant land. Each unit is bought and sold with its own title and deed. The actual boundaries of the unit are defined in the Declaration. The typical boundaries are inside the interior walls of the unit which means that you are buying space and not the structure. The areas outside of the walls which are enjoyed in common with the rest of the owners in the association are typically referred to as Common Elements. [top]
Q: What is expected when buying a Condo?
A: When you purchase a Condo, there are many different steps that you must take. One of the first things that you need to do is request a Resale Package from the seller. The Resale Package will contain several pertinent documents that describe the condominium community. Once you have received the resale package, you will typically have a specific period of time known as a Rescission Period to review the declaration documents, rules and regulations and bylaws. If you are not satisfied during this period, you may elect to nullify your contract to purchase the unit. Our agents are trained to provide expert guidance through the process of condominium buying. [top]
Q: What is included in the monthly common fee?
A: Many responsibilities typically handled by a homeowner are managed by the Condominium Association. A monthly fee is paid to the association to cover the common area expenses; this is often called an Association Fee. Insurance for example, is maintained by the association for the structural elements and for liability. Condo owners are responsible for insuring the contents of their unit. Typical services included in the monthly fee are, property management, landscaping, trash removal, snow plowing, repairs to common elements handled by the association. Reviewing financial’s is important to determine whether a Special Assessment may occur to repair or replace decks, roofs, siding, or other major items. Leaky faucets, light fixtures, etc are usually the responsibility of the unit owner. Some condominium complexes include heat, hot water and even cable television service in the monthly fee. All condominiums are different in one way or another. [top]
Q: Is it difficult to sell a condominium unit?
A: Condominium Associations Rules and Regulations typically do not allow “For Sale” signs on the common grounds of the complex, or unit windows. Most real estate professionals will agree that a sign is a critical part of real estate marketing and certainly the most cost effective. People looking to buy real estate often drive through areas that appeal to them. We created Condo4Sale.com as a place for buyers to locate just condos for sale. In addition to our own listings on the web, we provide access to other agents’ listings through the Multiple Listing Service. Our specialists will work with you to develop the most effective marketing program that includes internet exposure, multiple listings and advertising to get your unit sold fast! [top]
Q: How do I determine which loan program is best for me?
A: In order to determine the best loan program for your needs, begin by asking yourself the following questions:
- How much of a down payment can I afford?
- How much of a mortgage payment can I afford on a monthly basis?
- Do I want low payments for a long term or higher payments for a shorter term?
- Do I want consistent monthly payments?
- How many years do I want to pay for my home?
- How long do I intend to own this home?
- Can I pay more toward my principal balance if my cash flow increases?
Your answers to these questions will help your Loan Officer compare different loan options and advise you to the best possible option. [top]
Q: What are points?
A: Points are a method of reducing the interest rate you would pay on a loan. One point is equivalent to 1% of the loan amount. For example, 2 points on a loan amount of $200,000 would be $4,000. In general, a loan requiring 2 points has a lower interest rate than a loan with 1 point or 0 points, but you would pay a higher amount in fees from the increased point(s) in your closing costs. Paying points may be a more attractive option for those planning to stay in their home for a long time.
Q: Will I have to pay additional fees at closing that were not on my original good faith estimate?
A: When you apply for a home loan your lender must provide you with a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) that lists all of the fees associated with your home loan. Some lenders will estimate low on the GFE only to charge you additional fees and even charge some fees twice. To ensure that you are not overcharged check your HUD-1 settlement sheet prior to closing and review the finalized list of closing fees.
Q: How Can I Avoid Delays In My Loan Process?
A: There are a number of ways to avoid delays in your loan process. It is important that you submit all required conditions to your Mortgage Broker as soon as possible as your loan cannot close without this information. Be sure to make copies of all documents for your records. Your loan process may also be set back if you make changes to your employment, increase your debt or change bank accounts.
Q: Is it better to rent or to own a home?
A: In many instances, renters discover that they can buy a home comparable to the space they are renting with lower net monthly payments. This is not surprising when you factor in all the tax advantages that come with homeownership.
Q: What if this is the last home I intend to purchase?
A: Most people who plan on retiring and making their last home purchase should consider the lowest rate possible with a fixed payment schedule. This option is ideal for those who plan on living in their home indefinitely on a fixed monthly budget.
Q: How do I manage my monthly payment schedule?
A: One of the best things about owning a home is that you know your monthly payments. If you have a fixed rate mortgage, the principal and interest portion of your payments will remain the same every month for the life of the loan. If you have an adjustable rate mortgage, you know how much your payments are allowed to vary with each adjustment period.
Q: What are the tax benefits of home ownership?
A: There are many tax benefits for homeowners. The interest on your home mortgage as well as certain real estate taxes and mortgage closings costs are often tax deductible. Please consult a personal financial advisor or an accountant for the specific tax advantages you will receive from purchasing a home.