May 19, 2022

Condo Homeowner Association Dues

Let's Talk Association Dues in a Condo Complex

As a condo owner, you may be required to pay homeowner association dues to the condo association or management company that manages the condo association.

When Are They Due, How Paid and What They Cover?

When you are looking to purchase a condo, you will want to be aware of what those fees are, how often they are expected to be paid, and what they cover.  Also, you will want to know how you can pay them.  They are not included in your mortgage payment.  They are a separate payment made to the association.

How Do I Find Out What They Are?

If the condo is for sale through a real estate broker, that information should be available on the listing information.  You should always verify that fee to be sure that it's correct.  This fee is in addition to your mortgage payment, insurance payment and tax payment.  It could also be increased in the future if the association votes to increase it for a number of reasons.  You will want to be sure that you can afford your condo costs including this additional association fee.  It is common to see the fees due monthly if more items are covered by the association.  I have also seen them quarterly or yearly, but they likely will only cover minor items.  A good suggestion is to get involved at your association meetings to give your input and know what is going on.  At closing, the title company will request a status letter (normally paid by the seller) from the association verifying the fee.  If you wait until closing to verify it, and it's incorrect, it's probably too late.

Renting a Condo

As a renter of a condo unit, normally the association fee is paid by the condo owner/landlord.  

What Happens if the Association Dues Don't Get Paid?

If the association fee does not get paid, a lien can be placed on the condo from the association.  When buying a condo, this is a good reason to utilize the services of a title company to find this information out before you close.  They will check any liens attached to the property as well as make sure that any unpaid dues get paid, if that is what you agree upon in the purchase.

How Does the Association Know I'm the New Owner?

When you close as a buyer, the condo association will be informed of the new buyer information from the title company and hopefully forward a welcome packet with instructions as to how to make your future dues payments.  If you do not receive this, you will want to contact them.

New Construction Condos

In new construction condos, the association may not be developed yet.  Hence, there will be no association fees initially.  You may not have to pay any association dues until one is established.  Just be prepared to budget for them in the future.  Get involved at the association meetings to give your input.

What are the Association Dues Used For?

All of this should be included in the large bylaw packet that you should be reviewing when your purchase your condo.  Most common items are; escrow funds for insurance, maintenance upkeep such as lawn service, sprinklers, maintenance of common areas, clubhouse, swimming pools and utilities such as water.  You can always contact the association for specific items.  You will want to verify if there is something specific you are concerned about.  Once you buy your condo, you are acknowledging that you are aware of these dues and what they cover.

 

Posted in Condo Living
Oct. 20, 2021

Home Inspection vs. Appraisal

Home Inspection vs. Appraisal

Do you know the difference between a Home Inspection and a Home Appraisal?  They are two very different things.  Sometimes buyers ask me if they really need to do a home inspection if they are having an appraisal on the property that they are buying. My answer is that you should because they are not the same thing.  The home inspection is for the buyer's benefit.  It does take a lot more time inside the home when it's inspected. The appraisal is for the benefit of the lender. Both of them are paid out of pocket by the buyer. They both have different purposes. Watch the video below and let me know what you think.

 

 

Every transaction is different, but hopefully this gives you a general guideline between inspections and appraisals.

 

June 10, 2021

Wiseguys Bar and Grill Clinton Township, Michigan

I stopped by Wiseguys Bar and Grill today for lunch. It is conveniently located on Harper just North of Metropolitan Parkway in Clinton Township, Michigan. The address is 37208 Harper.  They are very close to I-94 as well. I immediately felt that this was a fun place when I walked in. The music was playing, there were tons of TV screens throughout, a pool table and dart board game.  

The seating included booths, tables, high top tables and stools at the full size bar. The decor was cool too in a "wise guys" theme. Who doesn't love a popcorn machine with fresh popcorn for snacking? Yes, there is one here too! They also had my favorite things to thing to do in a bar and grill - Keno. It cost me $10 to win $7, but I had fun.

There was plenty of space inside, and the food and the service was good.  I enjoyed the calzone for lunch. Plus I had half of it to take home for another meal.

If you are looking for a cool place for lunch, dinner or a quick drink, check them out.  www.wiseguysbarandgrill.com

  

 

April 1, 2021

Earnest Money Deposit

What is the Earnest Money Deposit?

The Earnest Money Deposit is also known as the EMD. A deposit is normally taken when you write an offer on a home. It is not required, but highly recommended. It is unlikely that your offer will get accepted without one. There is no set amount required. In my experience, a deposit is normally about 1% of your offer price. If your offer is cash, a higher one may be requested. If you are in a multiple offer situation, you may want to consider offering a higher amount showing your serious intentions. You may want to also offer a waiver to the claim of the EMD if you do not continue with the purchase to make your offer more desirable.  

 

 

Be knowledgeable of the risks involved with your deposit. You may lose the claim to your deposit if you do not follow through with your purchase. This should be explained to you when you write your offer. As a seller, you may also have claim to the buyer's earnest money deposit in certain instances.  Your Realtor can explain your options.

As a buyer, this deposit does get credited to your closing amount that you need to bring at closing time.  For example, if you need to bring $10,000 to closing, your $2,000 deposit will be a credit. You would therefore only need to bring $8,000 to closing.  If you deposit in a rare case is higher than your funds needed for closing, you will get a credit at closing as well.

Your earnest money deposit is required to be held in a "non-interest bearing" account until your closing occurs.  

Hope this explains what the earnest money deposit is when you are buying a home.

Feel free to reach our to me, or leave a comment with any comments or questions.

March 16, 2021

How Do I Bring My Money for a Closing?

As a buyer or a seller of a home, there is likely a chance that you will have to bring your required funds for closing. I often get asked this question as to how this needs to happen.

Funds for closing cannot be in cash.  They either need to be in a cashier/certified check or they will need to be wired to the title company.  Some title companies will require a wire transfer if funds are over a certain dollar amount.  A cashier/certified check, as well as a wire transfer, can normally be done through your bank for a nominal fee.  The check should be made out to the title company (you should get instructions on your closing documents).  If you are sending a wire, you will need to have the wiring instructions for the Title Company to give to your bank.

Be aware that this is the time that Fraudulent interceptors will try to change your wiring instructions and take all of your money!  If you are ever concerned about a change in wiring instructions just before closing, contact your Realtor or the Title Company directly.  It is better to be safe than sorry.  Once you wire funds, they most likely will not be able to be retrieved. This will cause a loss of your money and likely a cancellation of the closing.

You will more than likely receive your final number within a few days of closing. This should give you enough time to get your check or have your wire transferred. . You will want to allow enough time for the wire transfer to go through the federal reserve and then to the title company. If the closing does not occur, your wire is safe and can be refunded. As always, double check with your Realtor as to how this process occurs with your specific situation.

Being prepared will help with a successful and uneventful closing!

 

 

Feb. 24, 2021

What are Seller Concessions?

If you are buying or selling a home, you need to be familiar with what seller concessions are.  Seller concessions are a monetary allowance from the seller to the buyer to help with their closing costs.  A buyer will still have to supply their down payment contribution.  Each party has closing costs when the buy or sell a home.  Depending on the type of loan that the buyer is doing, there are limits as to how much a seller can contribute.  The contribution can be a percentage of the purchase price, or it can be a flat dollar amount.

Pros and Cons to the Buyer

As a buyer, seller concessions can help you buy your first home.  You will still need to contribute your down payment amount, but the seller can contribute to all or some of your closing costs.  This will help if you do not have all the funds available to buy your home.  It may also help alleviate spending all of your savings in case you need it to do repairs or updates to the home after you close.  It is also very important to make sure that your buyer's agent knows, so that the seller concessions can be written in the purchase agreement.

A con as a buyer asking for selling concessions is that some sellers do not understand them fully.  They may have this notion that they should not be helping a buyer buy their home.  A buyer should be able to afford to buy it on their own.  It also hurts a buyer in a busy seller's market.  Your competition may be better qualified because they may not need the seller concessions.  A seller may be more inclined to take an offer that does not cost them more to sell.

Pros and Cons to the Seller

As a seller, you at least want to know what they are.  You home may be sitting stagnant with no offers coming in.  Do not focus on helping the buyer with giving them concessions.  Just concentrate on your bottom line net that you will be getting.  If your net price is acceptable, help the buyer with the closing costs and get the deal to work.  Isn't that your ultimate goal?  To sell the house?  Another option is the buyer can offer a little more on the purchase price to compensate for the concessions.  For example, if the buyer needs $2,000 in seller concesssions, have them offer $2,000 more on their offer price.  As long as the home will still appraise for the higher offer amount, this will help to compensate for the extra expense.

A con to the seller is obvious that this seller concession will be an extra expense to the seller.  It will be a deduction at closing and added to your selling costs.  Still, if the bottom line is ok, try and get the deal to work.

Comments or questions welcomed!  If you are looking for a residential Realtor in Southeastern Michigan, I would be happy to help!

 

Jan. 21, 2021

Selling Your Condo? Do You Have Your Status Letter?

Selling Your Condo? Do You Know What a Condo Status Letter Is?

Are you planning on selling your condo?  Did you know that you will have to order a Condo Status Letter from your Homeowner's Association or Management Company?

One of your closing fees as a condo owner is for a Condo Status Letter.  A Condo Status Letter is a letter from the Condo Association or Management Company stating that the status of your condo dues are in good standing.

Why do you need a status letter?  The Title Company will need this Status Letter as proof because they are issuing a title insurance policy to the new owner.  The policy insures that the condo has clear title and is free from liens.  If you are in arrears in your association dues, your association can put a lien on your condo.

Can I just provide proof of payment for my dues?  The title company will not accept any proof of payment or receipt.  They will require the Condo Status Letter from the Association or Management Company.  The fees from this Status Letter is also another revenue stream for the Association or Management Company.  

How much does a Condo Status Letter cost?  There is no set cost for a Condo Status Letter.  I have seen them range from $0 for a small self-managed associated to $350.  It all depends on the Association or Management Company.  This is a set fee and not negotiable.

Keep in mind that you should order the Condo Status Letter close to your closing date.  The Status Letter needs to be current with your payment.  If you pay monthly, for example, you must close in that month of the Status Letter.  If your closing extends into the next month, an updated status letter will be required.  Of course, resulting in another fee.  You will also want to keep in mind that you don't want to order the Status Letter too close to closing.  If you don't allow enough time for the Association or Management Company to prepare the letter (sometimes they only do them on certain days), you may have to pay a rush fee.

These fees will more than likely be on your closing statements as a cost, however, they could be required to be paid out of pocket before closing.

In closing, if you are planning on selling your condo, a call to your Association or Management Company as to the cost of a Status Letter, and the time frame needed to have it for closing, is a good idea!

 

Helping with your real estate needs in Southern Michigan - Kelly Dix, Residential Realtor

www.kellydixrealtor.com kellydixrealestate@gmail.com 586-899-6666

Sept. 22, 2020

What Does Pending Mean?

What Does It Mean When a Property is Pending???

When buyers are looking at houses for sale, they sometimes come across a property for sale that is marked pending.  What does it really mean when a property is pending?

When a property is pending, it means that the seller and the buyer have actually signed a contract to buy and sell the house.  Most purchase agreements state that the property needs to be marked pending, and the seller will not continue to show the property to potential buyers.  This will protect the buyer because it locks up the property for sale and, no one else can view it.  However, some contracts do state that the seller can still hold the property open for showings until after the home inspection contingency has been met.  The buyer and the seller are still in a binding contract, but this will protect the seller in a busy market in case the buyer decides to not buy the home after they have done their private home inspection.  The seller cannot sign any other offers when they have already signed one, but they can continue to show the home as well as take back up offers.  They just can't sign any until they are released from the initial contract.  During this period, sellers can mark their property continue to show for back up offers.  

Buyers will also ask if they could offer better terms for the seller to accept?  The answer is almost no.  A buyer can offer better terms than the initial offer, however, it can only be a back up offer, and only signed by the seller if the initial offer falls through.  An advantage to doing this as a seller does put pressure on the current buyer.  The buyer may not be able to try to negotiate after their private home inspection.  The seller would probably not be willing to do any negotiations in regards to price or repairs knowing that there are other offers as back ups.  The caveat could be that by the time the seller gets to the back up offers, they are no longer valid.  Trust your real estate agent in how you should handle every situation.  They have property experienced it before.

 

For more quick tips, please subscribe to my channel or reach out to me.  I work in Southeastern Michigan in Residential Real Estate Homes and Condos.  

Aug. 26, 2020

Yarmouth Commons Clinton Township Michigan

Yarmouth Commons Condo Drive Through

Yarmouth Commons is a condo complex in Clinton Township, Michigan.  It is located East of Garfield and between Clinton River Road and 17 Mile Road.  

There are 176 units, and they are currently managed by the Kramer Triad Management Group.

These units were built in the early to mid 1970s.

Most of these units are townhouse style with the bedrooms on the second level, but there are a few that are upper and lower units as well.  They also include basements and garages.

Currently the monthly association fee is $291 a month.  It does include the water, gas, snow and trash removal, grass cutting and outside maintenance.

Pet owners will be happy to know that this condo complex will allow pets with some restrictions.

If you have children, Yarmouth Commons is located in the Chippewa Valley School District.

If you plan to finance a purchase in this complex, you will have to purchase with a conventional loan or buy with cash.  Currently the complex is not approved for FHA mortgages.

In the past 12 months, these units have been selling in the range of $66,000-$130,000.

Nearby there are plenty of restaurants, fast food places, places to buy groceries and local shopping stops.

If you are a golfer, the Fern Hill Golf Course in right across Clinton River Road. 

You are also in very close vicinity to the Township Offices, Public Library, Parks, Dog Park, Senior Activity Center and a sledding hill in the winter!

Henry Ford Macomb and McLaren Hospital are also very close by.

The complex features a clubhouse, in-ground swimming pool and tennis court (needs some maintenance).

I personally enjoy the Cap Cod/Eastern Coastal feel of this complex.

 

 

If you need any further information about this complex, please reach out to me.  If you are looking to buy or sell a condo in Clinton Township, Michigan, I can help.

 

June 20, 2020

What Not to Do When Buying a House

What Not to Do When Buying a House?

Some tips from me with how to help you be a stronger buyer when you are out looking at homes.  There are many other factors involved in the buying process, but here are 5 big ones that are pretty common.