If you’re buying a condo, at some point during the contract period, you need to review and approve or disapprove the condominium/HOA documents. These documents generally include the Declarations and Bylaws, the Rules and Regulations, the current year budget, the meeting minutes, and the 22.1 disclosure. If you’re buying a single family home this MAY apply to you if your neighborhood has a HOA (Homeowner’s Association).
The reason you need to review these documents is that when you buy a condo, you’re not just buying your particular unit, but you’re also buying into the building. You need to figure out if the building is stable and healthy financially speaking or if there could be potential problems, either with big upcoming maintenance issues or delinquent condo owners who aren’t paying their HOA fees, etc.
It’s also important to learn about the community’s rules such as:
1. Are there pet restrictions (number of pets, breeds, weights, etc.)?
2. Can you move in any day/time or are there restrictions on when you’re allowed to move in?
3. Are there are move in fees or procedures such as needing to reserve an elevator?
4. Can you lease your unit and, if so, for how long? (Typically applicable to condos)
5. Is more than 50% of the building renters? If so, there is a good chance your mortgage lender won’t approve the loan as a building with too many renters is a risky investment
For all of the above reasons, we strongly urge you to read each condo document thoroughly. Write down any questions or issues you’d like to know more about as we can ask for clarification or further documentation. Pay particular attention to the meeting minutes as this is often where you’ll learn what’s really going on in the building and any future plans for big ticket repairs.
NOTE: In PA, you must approve/accept the HOA documents before settlement. You will typically only have 5 days from the date that you receive the documents to terminate the contract should these documents be unsatisfactory to you. IF HOA documents are not provided to you until the actual settlement day, this does NOT mean that you cannot still terminate the contract based on the HOA documents. As always, it is recommended to speak to a real estate attorney about the potential implications of terminating the agreement of sale.
In addition, review our mortgage officer’s list of important condo questions to ask.
After you’ve read the condo docs, email me any questions you have and whether you feel comfortable going forward, want to cancel the contract or would like additional information.
Questions? Call me at 717.963.0016 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.