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Adrian Lewis
Adrian Lewis

Buying A Condo In Boston

But you see, buying a condo is a bit different from buying a home. While both are clear paths to home ownership, condos are regulated by condo boards or housing associations. These bodies set the living rules that could as well affect your lifestyle.

buying a condo in boston

This may look pretty standard until you factor in that we all have different tastes and preferences. For example, you may be a barbecuing aficionado; one who spends the entire weekend by the grill. But there are condos that limit the amount of time you can spend barbecuing, usually when the grill is located in a common area.

Most importantly, hire an attorney to review these rules and regulations. The condominium documents are usually drafted by an attorney so spending a little extra money to have a professional review them is well worth it.

While such services are important, you should get a good handle on how much they will cost you. On average, the figure ranges between $200-$400, but expect to pay more if you are buying a high end or luxury condo.

Needless to say, condo boards hire professional management companies to oversee the property. Beyond that, a on-site property manager or caretaker is usually there (may live there in some cases) to take care of everyday issues.

Buying a condominium in the Boston area or around Massachusetts can be a great home option, but there is much for homebuyers to consider before deciding which condo or townhouse is a smart choice. Finding the right condominium requires home buyers to do their due diligence. The following 12 questions to ask will help you make a well-informed decision, avoid potential pitfalls, and learn how to buy a condo in Massachusetts.

Request copies of the minutes of the condo association's board meetings to see what issues and concerns owners have recently discussed. By reviewing the minutes, you easily can discern whether there are problems with management, maintenance and/or residents. Looking over the minutes may also reveal any projects that are underway, including those that the seller may not have mentioned and may require a special assessment (see more on special assessments below). Many complexes post notices in lobbies or near elevators. A notice urging residents to lock their car doors may indicate that there has been a number of thefts from automobiles. A notice indicating that residents are not disposing of trash properly may be a result of a rodent problem.

Before buying, it is important to check if there is an approaching special assessment. A special assessment is a fee for capital improvements, such as new roofs and driveway paving, each unit owner has to pay in addition to the monthly condominium fee. As long as they don't occur every year, special assessments can help keep the regular monthly maintenance fee low. Look at cash reserves over the last three years, if the budgets are available, and check if they show a decreasing trend. This means the reserve fund is not adequate and a special assessment may be necessary to keep the condo association in the black.

A building's delinquency rate is the percentage of residents who are late paying their homeowner's dues. Many banks will not approve mortgages for buildings with high delinquency rates. Massachusetts provides a unique form of protection for condominium associations against delinquent fees known as the "super-lien process." Massachusetts General Law c. 183A 6(c) states outstanding condominium fees are a lien against the delinquent unit from the date the fees become due. The delinquent unit owner is personally liable for all condominium fees, including late charges, fines, interest, and collection costs. A properly filed condominium fee lien is entitled to super-priority status over all other non-municipal liens, including a first mortgage on the unit, for up to six (6) months of condominium fees, attorney's fees, and collection costs. Furthermore, the lien cannot be discharged by way of bankruptcy. An experienced real estate attorney should be consulted if there is a delinquency issue.

Lenders are more likely to finance a unit in a building with a high owner-occupancy rate. If most of the units are rentals, you may not be able to get a home loan from a lender. Absentee landlords may not be as interested as owner-occupants in keeping the buildings and grounds well maintained. Homebuyers will want to carefully consider whether or not to buy a condo in a building with more renters than owner-occupants.

Rental policies vary by the condo association. Some condominium association rules do not allow units to be rented. Some rules require rental leases to be a minimum term, such as one year. Other associations limit the number of rentals, so if that limit already is met, you may not be able to rent your unit at that time. Sometimes rentals are allowed for owners who purchased before a certain date, but not for those unit owners who purchased after that date. Unit owners are responsible if their tenants do not obey association rules or damage common areas.

The list above may seem lengthy and complex, but working with an experienced exclusive buyer agent and real estate attorney will reduce stress and provide condo home buyers with the guidance needed to make an informed decision about buying a condominium.

There is a difference between owning a condominium condo versus a single-family home. The biggest thing to remember is as an individual, you fully own from inside stud to inside stud of the inner perimeter of your condominium unit.

The definition of a condo or condominium is an individually owned living unit in a complex or building of other living units. The entirety of the units with all its land and amenities is shared with the other units as common areas.

Every condo complex is different it is important to know what your ownership includes when you buy a condo. Parking spots can either be owned individually (deeded with the unit) or assigned (owned by the association).

There can also be exclusive common areas such as decks and patios and even sometimes small yards. Exclusive common areas are meant to be used and enjoyed by one individual, but the cost of maintaining the area is shared by all the owners of the condominium complex. All of these questions can be determined by reading the master deed.

Whether you should purchase a condo or not is an individual decision. There is no right or wrong. But do you homework so if you do buy a condominium in Massachusetts you are making an informed decision

When purchasing a condo it is important you reserve the right to have a period of time to review the condominium documents. This is a big part of how to buy a condo for success. It is different from buying a single family home.

The Declaration of Trust is the document that sets the complex as an entity and the governing of the condominium usually thru a board of trustees and a home owners association. It is the legal documention forming the condomium as set forth by Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 183.

There are rules and regulations you must abide by when you buy a condo. The rules and regulations can vary from complex to complex. Most rules and regulations will discuss pets, parking, use of common areas and more.

To borrow from a famous phrase, not all condominiums are created equally. Some condominiums are very well run; some are quite poorly run and underfunded. Buyers interested in purchasing a condominium unit must do their homework: not only about the condition of the individual unit they are interested in purchasing, but on the financial health and governance of the condominium as a whole. Remember, you are buying into the entire project as much as you are the unit, and your decision will impact your daily living and your ability to re-sell.

We will also build in provisions into your purchase and sale agreement to protect you in case there are unanticipated or undisclosed issues with the condominium which affect your willingness to move forward with the transaction. Happy condo hunting!

Our objective is obviously to get the property for the lowest possible price. The average selling price of homes and condos recently in Boston and suburbs has been around 95-105% +, depending on neighborhood, etc (see market report ). That having been said, in some neighborhoods, such as the South End, selling prices have averaged higher than asking prices. The suburbs have been very competitive. We've entered a period of high sales activity, which can be a challenging situation for buyers.

The contract to buy/sell real estate in Boston Massachusetts is known as a "Purchase and Sale" contract, or "P&S". This is the contract that contains *all* the provisions relating to your purchase and generally occurs about 10 days after the offer is accepted. During this time, you will do most of your "due diligence": Have your home inspection, get your loan application rolling, and I and/or your attorney will obtain all the condo docs and financials. Also, I will get contact information for building management or trustees in order to find out if there are any current building problems, upcoming projects, or special assessments. I have great lenders, attorneys, and inspectors whom I've teamed up with in the past, and that my clients have been very happy with.

Borrowing money to purchase a home is a complex process. While working through the home buying process you will need to at least involve a mortgage broker/bank/lender, Title Company and an appraisal company. Buying a home is the biggest purchase you will make in your lifetime.

Before signing any legal documents or contracts an attorney should be consulted to review the documents. Consult an attorney throughout the home buying process to ensure all deadlines and requirements are met in order to reach the final purchase stage.

There are benefits and liabilities to buying a unit in a smaller building, like a duplex or a three-decker that has been converted into condominiums, as opposed to a unit in a larger building of 30 units or more, said lawyer Tom Moriarty of Moriarty, Troyer and Malloy LLC. 041b061a72


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