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  Condo Assoc. Approval Interview of Buyer--what the heck could they ask?
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Condo Assoc. Approval Interview of Buyer--what the heck could they ask? Sign In/Join 
Picture of ellemint
posted
I am planning to buy a condo in Florida, offer already accepted. I am paying cash.

The condo association has an extensive "approval" process, an application which wanted way too much personal I.D. information in my opinion, and an interview.

Has anyone had any experience with these interviews? I have no idea what they could (legally) ask me.
 
Posts: 486 | Registered: Jun 12, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of rker321
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I have personally read in the Internet about many suits regarding those issues when you buy a condo. Many HOA's overstep their boundaries and in my view is a sure sign of what you can expect from them.
 
Posts: 5014 | Location: 0 | Registered: May 31, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of aychihuahua
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I have never had an interview to live in a condo, only a co-op, which is a very different type of home ownership. Then, the interview was perfunctory and lasted only a couple of minutes.

Mostly, the interviews are to assess the homeowner's financial bona fides. Since you are paying cash, most likely this kind of question won't come up. But it could, since they want to make sure you have a good credit rating and sufficient income to pay your condo fees on a timely basis.

When I bought into a 55+ HOA of single family detached homes, I only had to sign a statement that said I had read and understood all the documents (bylaws, CCRrs.)

Here is a link to an article that might give you some information: http://www.bankrate.com/financ...ndo-co-op-board.aspx

In the meantime, ask around: perhaps your buyer's agent knows about the process or knows someone in the building.

Good luck.
 
Posts: 5362 | Registered: Jul 12, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of ellemint
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Thanks for your replies. The association application already asked for just about every single piece of I.D. imaginable, including driver's license, birth certificate, passport, bank reference bank account number, social security number----everything someone could possibly need to pull off a nice identity theft.

I did not comply with all of that and gave them my social security number, which I thought they might need to do a criminal background check and check my credit, and a copy of my passport, only because they insisted on picture I.D.

Note: they have already MET me in person. I was there in person, so I found it ridiculous they would request so much sensitive information.

When I met two of the members at Christmas, everyone seemed pleasant. BUt since then the condo chairman seems to have gotten his back up about us requesting condo documents before we had a signed contract. God only knows how long he will stretch out this "approval" process.

Also, on what possible basis except criminal or financial could they not approve a potential owner who is paying cash for a condo, which will only be of benefit to the financial health of their complex.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: ellemint,
 
Posts: 486 | Registered: Jun 12, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of ellemint
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In my experience, rkr321, most condo boards are peopled with jerks.

Even a lawyer told me that many boards overstep their bounds, and createall kinds of illegal rules and restrictions. But to fight them---then you're looking at a lawsuit, unless they are reasonable, which they rarely are.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: ellemint,
 
Posts: 486 | Registered: Jun 12, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Jewel
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I guess if I were going to be your neighbor in a condo building, I'd mainly want to make sure you weren't an aspiring drummer or opera singer who would be practicing in your unit all day every day. Or, that you weren't planning to move St Bernards or Great Danes into the building with you.
 
Posts: 8201 | Registered: Sep 18, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of rker321
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But Jewel, most of what you would want to know is included in the CCR"s so no pets allowed, and what size they will considered, those are things that they would like to know.
As far as making noise, They wouldn't know that until you moved in.
Florida is plagued by suits on condo's and their boards. Hopefully she doesn't encounter any of this.
 
Posts: 5014 | Location: 0 | Registered: May 31, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Jewel
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I disagree, Rker. There is a lot to find out about a person through the interview process when it comes to areas of the CCRs they may violate unknowingly. It's worth a discussion as opposed to assuming the person read and has the same interpretation of the CCR's as the board does.

Even asking, "So, what do you like to do on your non-working hours?" may lead to the reveal that the buyer is into music which can lead to finding out they're in a band which can lead to finding out that the band traditionally practices 3 days a week....at the buyer's residence. The CCR's may have a regulation against noise, but the buyer may honestly not equate his band practice to making "noise" or may think their decibel level is acceptable. He loves hearing his music so much, why wouldn't everyone?

Or, through discussion, a board that allows each owner to have 1 small pet may find out that, in addition to the tea-cup poodle the buyer owns, the buyer also short-term fosters other animals including big dogs. The buyer doesn't think it violates the CCR's because: a) she doesn't own the pets; and b) the longest foster timeframe is "only" 2 weeks at a time. Except, during the discussion, the board determines that the buyer fosters one pet right after the other. So, she would be, in actuality, in violation of the CCR's.

I could go on, but suffice to say that I do think some potential issues can be determined and resolved prior to the new buyer moving in if the right questions are asked during the interview.
 
Posts: 8201 | Registered: Sep 18, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This is an excellent time for you to check them out and decide if these are the people you want as your neighbors.
 
Posts: 21 | Registered: Sep 21, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of ellemint
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It's not something I can back out of. There is a long history to this condo. I am buying it from the estate of my father's deceased girlfriend. So, he is already emotionally invested in this condo, and has put money into fixing it up. I am buying it because I want to try out living in Florida, and presumably he could still stay with me in the winter months as a snowbird. So if I don't buy it,he will.
 
Posts: 486 | Registered: Jun 12, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of ellemint
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There was a one page of rules on the application I received. Any other governance documents are in Florida, where I am not, and are being reviewed by my father.
 
Posts: 486 | Registered: Jun 12, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of ellemint
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quote:
Originally posted by buckheadgirl:
This is an excellent time for you to check them out and decide if these are the people you want as your neighbors.


How would I do that? I don't even know their names, only the chairman of the condo board, who is a lawyer and ex-FBI agent and likes to push his weight around. I typed in the address of the complex with the word lawsuits in Google and nothing came up. And they told my Dad they had never had a lawsuit.
 
Posts: 486 | Registered: Jun 12, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of aychihuahua
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Ellemint, if I were you, I'd encourage your Dad to buy the unit, and you could rent it from him so you can see what living in Florida is like.

You sound resentful about the condo vetting process, among other things, and are making sweeping generalizations about condo governance and condo boards, which tells me things won't get better if and when you do buy the unit and live there as an owner. It doesn't sound like a match made in heaven.

Spare yourself anymore stress and look for something else to buy after you have had a chance to get used to Florida. And, if you don't like Florida for whatever reason, then you don't have to hassle with selling the condo.
 
Posts: 5362 | Registered: Jul 12, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Charming
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I agree with aychihuahua. As a real estate agent in another state, I've never heard of anything so ridiculous. Unless it hits the papers, I don't know if any lawsuits will show up on a Google search.

I would not have provided any of the information requested by the board just because I really hate people intruding in my space. They would have to show me why they need it and that the request was legal. I also have the patience of a flea when it comes to ridiculous behavior by petty monarch wanna bes.

Did you request a copy of their financial statement? If you were trying to obtain a mortgage it would be required to provide the info.

Good luck - and thanks for posting.

Let's send out a Bat Call for Real Estate Lady - she is very active in Florida real estate and might have great insight.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Charming,


Fun and Info
 
Posts: 3606 | Location: Coastal SC | Registered: Jan 10, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of real estate lady
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Ellemint

... go with the flow.

No you don't have to give bank acct. #'s.

.Not sure what city you are buying in- in our area of Tampa Bay, some assn's require personal interview --some don't.

Have attorney review financials of assn.

You'll appreciate thorough interview and background check knowing your neighbors have been checked out and not of criminal background history.

Florida is a transient state...remember...tin men. Flim flammers..looking for a quick buck--and taking advantage.

Important things to check out with assn's...

fire walls between units

How many times dues have gone up in say the last five years. If more than three I wouldn't buy there.
How close are fire Hydrants.

# of parking space per unit and decent visitor space.
Go to assn meetings.
 
Posts: 9310 | Registered: Aug 14, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Charming
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Thanks for the help REL.

I would be really curious to sit in on one of those interviews. I cannot imagine the types of questions they would ask that would even be legal. It is hard enough for some less informed employers to conduct an interview with a potential new hire and not ask illegal questions I wonder how an amateur handles it? What would they ask and why?

Most questions would be in the HOA docs and are part of the contract process here. What happens if you're turned down? Are they going to reimburse you for the bank costs? Are they going to pay you for your wasted time and money? Are they going to buy the unit from the seller? I can easily see them being sued by all parties to the contract. For that matter, is it even in the contract or HOA covenants?

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Charming,


Fun and Info
 
Posts: 3606 | Location: Coastal SC | Registered: Jan 10, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I meant when you go for the actual interview you will certainly be able to decide if you want them as neighbors or if they would add stress to your life. You can ask them questions during the interview and see what their reactions are to those. From your remarks it sounds like you feel pressured into this deal. Oftentimes we already know the right answer and yours appears to be 'no deal'.
 
Posts: 21 | Registered: Sep 21, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of rker321
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My granddaughter owns a condo in Ft.Lauderdale, she paid 122,000 for a one bedroom condo. the dues have been going up several times. Now she cannot even sell it. The banks don't want to refi, they have assessed the condo at about 40,000, reason, there are too many of the units that have walked away from their units. She lives in a good neighborhood Plantation Fl. So occupancy is something to consider when buying a condo. how are the finances of the HOA like REL states.
 
Posts: 5014 | Location: 0 | Registered: May 31, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of aychihuahua
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quote:
Originally posted by rker321:
So occupancy is something to consider when buying a condo. how are the finances of the HOA like REL states.


BINGO! Best advice yet. While a condo/co-op association needs to evaluate the financial health of the unit owner, so should a potential buyer find out as much as she can about the financial health of the association:

1) how much are the reserves as a percentage of the operating budget;
2) how much of the monthly fee is assigned to the reserve budget;
3) what is the history of monthly fee hikes and also special assessments (two separate things) over the past 3 - 5 years
4) what is the percentage of renters
5) is there an annual report

I know this information can be hard to extract, but it can be done: it is part of doing one's due diligence. Going into a condo/co-op situation with eyes closed will eventually become an eye-opener, and not in the most pleasant way. I know this from years of being a condo and co-op owner.
 
Posts: 5362 | Registered: Jul 12, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Charming
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aychihuahua - What you list is exactly what a bank would request if she were applying for a mortgage. Unfortunately some of the attorneys hired by larger condos are refusing to comply with some of the questions - especially the full time owner occupancy. In most areas of the country it does not sound like such a difficult question, in resort areas many if not almost all condos in some buildings are vacation homes which are treated like rental properties by the banks. Because the HOA really cannot know what that percentage is, they frequently won't answer it.

Nothing worse than having a unit in a building that has lost almost all of its value and many owners in foreclosure. Can't sell it if buyers can't get a mortgage.


Fun and Info
 
Posts: 3606 | Location: Coastal SC | Registered: Jan 10, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of ellemint
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quote:
Originally posted by Charming:
aychihuahua - What you list is exactly what a bank would request if she were applying for a mortgage. Unfortunately some of the attorneys hired by larger condos are refusing to comply with some of the questions...


They wouldn't answer any of questions about the complex before I was officially approved as a buyer, and they just rejected my application.
 
Posts: 486 | Registered: Jun 12, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of ellemint
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Yes, they did NOT APPROVE ME.

Not only that, the condo president never held a board meeting, none of the other board members ever saw or were even aware of my application, he did not contact my bank, he did not call my references but claims that he called two people who he found who knows where, both of whom "had nothing good" to say about me.

He claims he met with a special "committee of trustees" that processes these applications, but I personally spoke with a board member who would actually be my next-door neighbour if I moved there. She said that she had never heard of this special committee. She also verified that she had never seen my application let alone been present at any meeting to review it.

We have called lawyers, and they say there is nothing we as buyers can do, even though to me there is evidence of fraud and deceit.

A lawyer said it wouldn't be worth a lawsuit because the condo was selling for less than the cost of a lawsuit.

It is really hard to believe that they can actually get away with this. There is an option for the sellers to force the condo to find an "acceptable" alternate buyer, but what is to stop the board from buying it for their Niece Alice...how can this kind of stuff be allowed.

And how can they deny my application when the board never met to review it, and the Condo President has overtly lied about how or what was done to review my application --- I think it was just he and wife BTW.

This is in Lake Worth, FL by the way.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: ellemint,
 
Posts: 486 | Registered: Jun 12, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of ellemint
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by real estate lady:
Ellemint

... go with the flow.

No you don't have to give bank acct. #'s.

.Not sure what city you are buying in- in our area of Tampa Bay, some assn's require personal interview --some don't.

Have attorney review financials of assn.

You'll appreciate thorough interview and background check knowing your neighbors have been checked out and not of criminal background history.

Florida is a transient state...remember...tin men. Flim flammers..looking for a quick buck--and taking advantage.

Important things to check out with assn's...

fire walls between units

How many times dues have gone up in say the last five years. If more than three I wouldn't buy there.
How close are fire Hydrants.

# of parking space per unit and decent visitor space.
Go to assn meetings.


Good questions. But they never contacted me for any interview and will not provide any information to me until I'm approved, and they just "disapproved me."
 
Posts: 486 | Registered: Jun 12, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of ellemint
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by ellemint:
quote:
Originally posted by aychihuahua:
quote:
Originally posted by rker321:
So occupancy is something to consider when buying a condo. how are the finances of the HOA like REL states.


BINGO! Best advice yet. While a condo/co-op association needs to evaluate the financial health of the unit owner, so should a potential buyer find out as much as she can about the financial health of the association:

1) how much are the reserves as a percentage of the operating budget;
2) how much of the monthly fee is assigned to the reserve budget;
3) what is the history of monthly fee hikes and also special assessments (two separate things) over the past 3 - 5 years
4) what is the percentage of renters
5) is there an annual report

I know this information can be hard to extract, but it can be done: it is part of doing one's due diligence. Going into a condo/co-op situation with eyes closed will eventually become an eye-opener, and not in the most pleasant way. I know this from years of being a condo and co-op owner.


I was assertive in pursuing that information, which they never provided, and I believe that is indeed why I was not approved as a buyer. I think they thought I'd be too assertive and too much trouble. They said they would provide no info to me until I was approved. It makes no sense to me, a buyer and seller are negotiating on a contract, and before they agree to a price, all of we had already done, I have to get condo board approval? They can just stop the contract?

This message has been edited. Last edited by: ellemint,
 
Posts: 486 | Registered: Jun 12, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of ellemint
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by ellemint:
quote:
Originally posted by ellemint:
quote:
Originally posted by ellemint:
quote:
Originally posted by aychihuahua:
quote:
Originally posted by rker321:
So occupancy is something to consider when buying a condo. how are the finances of the HOA like REL states.


BINGO! Best advice yet. While a condo/co-op association needs to evaluate the financial health of the unit owner, so should a potential buyer find out as much as she can about the financial health of the association:

1) how much are the reserves as a percentage of the operating budget;
2) how much of the monthly fee is assigned to the reserve budget;
3) what is the history of monthly fee hikes and also special assessments (two separate things) over the past 3 - 5 years
4) what is the percentage of renters
5) is there an annual report

I know this information can be hard to extract, but it can be done: it is part of doing one's due diligence. Going into a condo/co-op situation with eyes closed will eventually become an eye-opener, and not in the most pleasant way. I know this from years of being a condo and co-op owner.


I was assertive in pursuing that information, which they never provided, and I believe that is indeed why I was not approved as a buyer. I think they thought I'd be too assertive and too much trouble. They said they would provide no info to me until I was approved. It makes no sense to me, a buyer and seller are negotiating on a contract, agree to a price, all of which we had already done, and I want to see information like Declaration and Insurance and they refuse to let me have it, so how am I supposed to evaluate the complex prior to buying it?
 
Posts: 486 | Registered: Jun 12, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of ellemint
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by aychihuahua:
Ellemint, if I were you, I'd encourage your Dad to buy the unit, and you could rent it from him so you can see what living in Florida is like.

You sound resentful about the condo vetting process, among other things, and are making sweeping generalizations about condo governance and condo boards, which tells me things won't get better if and when you do buy the unit and live there as an owner. It doesn't sound like a match made in heaven.

Spare yourself anymore stress and look for something else to buy after you have had a chance to get used to Florida. And, if you don't like Florida for whatever reason, then you don't have to hassle with selling the condo.


No renting allowed. We already thought about my Dad buying it instead, but there were many reasons for me to buy, and I would still be listed as an Occupant since I do intend to live there, so wouldn't they just disapprove him because I'd be staying there? That condo president must really hate me.
 
Posts: 486 | Registered: Jun 12, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of ellemint
posted Hide Post
I did contact a board member who would end up as my next-door neighbor if I ever lived there, and asked if she wouldn't talk to this crazy Board President, and determine what is going on, and I asked her if she can relay to him a request from me that the actual board meet, review my actual aplication, and my provided references, and actually interview me about what must have very serious bad things said against me (if they are not lying about that.)
 
Posts: 486 | Registered: Jun 12, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It is actually the seller and all the other owners of units in the association who have a legitimate reason to petition for information or sue the association itself and the president individually if he has abused his authority. He has a fiduciary duty to follow the bylaws of the association and to act in the best interest of the property owners.

The worst case could show him arbitrarily declining applicants to drive down the prices then purchasing the units himself for resale at a larger profit. I suppose you could always get a list of addresses in the complex and sending letters to all explaining what has transpired. I'm not sure which state agency would be involved in a complaint such as yours but if there is none charged specifically with overseeing ******inium boards it would probably be the State Attorney General.
 
Posts: 748 | Registered: Jan 02, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of rker321
posted Hide Post
U seems to me that you have already provided all of us as to why you shouldn't buy into that condo. If you dad is emotionally attached to it, I guess that you are going to have to abide by his decision. But, his decision should not preclude you, from making the right decision for you.
 
Posts: 5014 | Location: 0 | Registered: May 31, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of real estate lady
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Good Riddens to them. I would suspect they may not want to give full disclosure. A bit of an issue in Florida--with condo communities, denying financials.

Sometimes I think some of these HOA Boards act like a secret society! Rediculous.

Certainly, I hope you are being represented by a "Buyers Realtor" --{ not the sellers), --who usually know inside scoos on problem associations. Have you questioned your Realtor? Please tell me you are not using the sellers' Realtor!

HOA's can be researched on the web. Find out the name of the HOA and the Management., then search both...require this of your Realtor.

Unhappy residents can and do speak their minds, even on the web. Lawsuits can be searched on the web by search-- " county clerk-"name of county". Most have search engines that say.. "online search".

Start Over with Your Search...

* make sure you have a buyers' Realtor (no charge to you) You have this right according to Florida Law.

* Drive communities - talk to neighbors who might be out front, and look at condition of buildings. You would be surprised what info you can get just talking to neighbors. Find out first before contract what HOA fee covers. I just had a deal where the assn covers roof and paint, but not exterior stucco. How weird is that???

* YOUR Realtor will secure ALL info on Communities
While sometimes they won't give you financials, they will give the budget for the new year. The State of Florida is making changes in the "Power Dept.." of HOA's...when it comes to fair and equitable..

*The housing crisis really did alot of Condo communities in, to the point the HOA fees have skyrocketed. This is why associations have gone after ownership in default as
not only has the owners defaulted on mortgage, but HOA dues as well. Alot of communities have not have not recovered.

Why not look for a townhouse or a "villa or townhouse" with a LOT and Block description...Lot 1 Block 2 Happy Haven, easier to finance,.less hassle.. and not "condo "unit 1 Bldg. 2 and 1/99 of common area ownership" legal description.

Many of us Realtors over the years...have run into.....
red tape obsessed, overzealous,too much time on their hands, inexperienced... drama queens and kings trying to run "too much for their britches" communities.
 
Posts: 9310 | Registered: Aug 14, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of ellemint
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by real estate lady:
Good Riddens to them. I would suspect they may not want to give full disclosure. A bit of an issue in Florida--with condo communities, denying financials.

Sometimes I think some of these HOA Boards act like a secret society! Rediculous.

Certainly, I hope you are being represented by a "Buyers Realtor" --{ not the sellers), --who usually know inside scoos on problem associations. Have you questioned your Realtor? Please tell me you are not using the sellers' Realtor!

HOA's can be researched on the web. Find out the name of the HOA and the Management., then search both...require this of your Realtor.

Unhappy residents can and do speak their minds, even on the web. Lawsuits can be searched on the web by search-- " county clerk-"name of county". Most have search engines that say.. "online search".

Start Over with Your Search...

* make sure you have a buyers' Realtor (no charge to you) You have this right according to Florida Law.

* Drive communities - talk to neighbors who might be out front, and look at condition of buildings. You would be surprised what info you can get just talking to neighbors. Find out first before contract what HOA fee covers. I just had a deal where the assn covers roof and paint, but not exterior stucco. How weird is that???

* YOUR Realtor will secure ALL info on Communities
While sometimes they won't give you financials, they will give the budget for the new year. The State of Florida is making changes in the "Power Dept.." of HOA's...when it comes to fair and equitable..

*The housing crisis really did alot of Condo communities in, to the point the HOA fees have skyrocketed. This is why associations have gone after ownership in default as
not only has the owners defaulted on mortgage, but HOA dues as well. Alot of communities have not have not recovered.

Why not look for a townhouse or a "villa or townhouse" with a LOT and Block description...Lot 1 Block 2 Happy Haven, easier to finance,.less hassle.. and not "condo "unit 1 Bldg. 2 and 1/99 of common area ownership" legal description.

Many of us Realtors over the years...have run into.....
red tape obsessed, overzealous,too much time on their hands, inexperienced... drama queens and kings trying to run "too much for their britches" communities.


Thank you. We're still trying one last ditch effort that my Dad purchase the condo instead of me....I have a very long thread about this at another website...I'm just so wiped out and defeated to type all the updates here, but if it is allowed, here is the link to the whole sad story, just read the last page, that'll tell you where things stand right now:

Post #352 here:

http://www.city-data.com/forum...rd-buy-condo-36.html

I really appreciate the advice of all of you on this board. I certainly don't seem to do well in real estate transactions of any type -- buying or selling. I feel so sad and defeated --- not being allowed to buy a condo when there is total agreement between buyer and seller----, and my 90 year old father, and me, a 55 year old professional woman, are highly unlikely to be undesirable condo owners at this community. Heck, my Dad's already lived there with no problems for 4 years. How can they reject him? !!!!!

------------

This message has been edited. Last edited by: ellemint,
 
Posts: 486 | Registered: Jun 12, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Jewel
posted Hide Post
It's almost as though the condo board president wants to buy the property himself...
 
Posts: 8201 | Registered: Sep 18, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of ellemint
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by real estate lady:
Good Riddens to them. I would suspect they may not want to give full disclosure. A bit of an issue in Florida--with condo communities, denying financials.

Sometimes I think some of these HOA Boards act like a secret society! Rediculous.

Certainly, I hope you are being represented by a "Buyers Realtor" --{ not the sellers), --who usually know inside scoos on problem associations. Have you questioned your Realtor? Please tell me you are not using the sellers' Realtor!

HOA's can be researched on the web. Find out the name of the HOA and the Management., then search both...require this of your Realtor.

Unhappy residents can and do speak their minds, even on the web. Lawsuits can be searched on the web by search-- " county clerk-"name of county". Most have search engines that say.. "online search".

Start Over with Your Search...

* make sure you have a buyers' Realtor (no charge to you) You have this right according to Florida Law.

* Drive communities - talk to neighbors who might be out front, and look at condition of buildings. You would be surprised what info you can get just talking to neighbors. Find out first before contract what HOA fee covers. I just had a deal where the assn covers roof and paint, but not exterior stucco. How weird is that???

* YOUR Realtor will secure ALL info on Communities
While sometimes they won't give you financials, they will give the budget for the new year. The State of Florida is making changes in the "Power Dept.." of HOA's...when it comes to fair and equitable..

*The housing crisis really did alot of Condo communities in, to the point the HOA fees have skyrocketed. This is why associations have gone after ownership in default as
not only has the owners defaulted on mortgage, but HOA dues as well. Alot of communities have not have not recovered.

Why not look for a townhouse or a "villa or townhouse" with a LOT and Block description...Lot 1 Block 2 Happy Haven, easier to finance,.less hassle.. and not "condo "unit 1 Bldg. 2 and 1/99 of common area ownership" legal description.

Many of us Realtors over the years...have run into.....
red tape obsessed, overzealous,too much time on their hands, inexperienced... drama queens and kings trying to run "too much for their britches" communities.


Excellent suggestions---thanks!

This condo associationis definitely run by a "Condo Commando." It's a 55+ community, with mostly long-term residents much older than 55. Owners, mostly snowbirds, are happy to leave everything to this one condo prez and his wife who have been basically running the place for ~15 years. (He's a snowbird himself.)

It's part of a larger condo community; there are 11 buildings, 10 low-rise buildings of about 20 units each, and one 4-story high-rise.

Each building has it's own independent homeowners association and condo board, and then there is one "board of presidents" for the entire community.

What is a Lot and Block description? Wouldn't a villa (which would be like a garden apartment right?), or a townhouse also be part of a home-owner's association? Could I possibly buy one in Lake Worth, or elsewhere on the East coast of Florida for less than $50K? Also, I want to pay cash and don't know how expensive those things are. This condo is <$30K.

The initial idea was for Dad and I to buy this cheap condo, and that I would see if I liked living in Florida, and I would either stay there, or eventually buy another home.

The sale of my last condo left me with a dislike of mortgages since I spent most of my payments on interest, and was lucky to walk away with $1500 from the sale of my condo at the bottom of the market a couple of years ago. I lost about $20,000 in the whole deal.

I like the idea of a seller's agent.

My biggest mistake with the attempted purchase of this Florida condo was not using a realtor, or a real estate attorney. I DID rely on the seller's attorney to do all the paperwork, since it was a private sale between the two daughters of my father's deceased companion and the buyers, either me, my father or both of us. My Dad had already wintered in this condo for 4 years and furnished it and everything. We thought it would all go smoothly; we had no idea it would be derailed like this.

As I said, I was disapproved by the board for no good reason, and my Dad's approval is still pending as of this April 12th weekend.

Also, we now found out that the condo board approval should not have even been done until we had a signed Sales contract. We did not have that in place when my approval application was disapproved. I wonder if that is cause to call it null and void, and start over.

Also, a big problem, is that I was not there in person to help facilitate things. Instead it was all e-mails and phone calls, and I may have come across as strident and demanding (because of wanting to see the Declaration, financials, and especially the Insurance Certificate for the complex.) (Again, something a realtor could have helped with!)

I could fight this disapproval because how can the association forbid me from staying in the condo to act as care-taker for my 90-year-old Dad? We didn't even list me as an co-occupant on his application because we were afraid they would turn his application down because of that! So now I can't even stay there. Can they forbid me from even visiting?

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This message has been edited. Last edited by: ellemint,
 
Posts: 486 | Registered: Jun 12, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Still not sure why you never got a buyers' agent. I have talked about buyers' agents until blue glow in the dark for years here..... and all the advantages.

The over 55 condo communities rule I have dealt with is.... at least ONE resdient has to be over 55.

How is you Dad holding up with this drama? Really not worth it.

Shop other cities.
Get a buyers agent!!!!

This message has been edited. Last edited by: real estate lady,
 
Posts: 9310 | Registered: Aug 14, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Congratulations! You sold a condo during the crash for a profit!!

I don't understand how you walked away on the plus side (not matter how small and amount for many they didn't even manage that during the crash) and you wrote you lost $20,000. If you are thinking about what condos were selling for during the bubble - that was not real for you. That was Paper Money. Unless you sold then of course you would have been buying at super inflated prices in turn you did not lose $20,000.

Nothing wrong with a mortgage as you said, you sold at the bottom of the market. A mortgage is still one of the few deductions the average American have.

Look at the market now where you want to live, the prices in many areas are rising. Fortunately, condo prices in many areas are lagging behind single family.

By lot and block REL was referencing either a townhome that is owned as real estate - you own the piece of land under it, vs the townhomes sold as a condo - you own the space within the walls.

In an over 55 community at least 80% of the residents in the community must be over 55.

It is important to have a buyers agent working for you. I know this was a special case, but the sellers agent was working as dual agent and should have been handling the issues you encountered.


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Posts: 3606 | Location: Coastal SC | Registered: Jan 10, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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