"There will be a special assessment for roof replacement," read the condo notice

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams 414-525-0563 57026-90 Broker

   Condos can be a wonderful alternative to owning a single family home. The exterior maintenance of the building...the lawn, the snow....are all taken care of...or is EVERYTHING taken care of ?    

    We were showing condos and our Buyers toured several units in one complex. The amenities included a clubhouse and a pool whiRooferch meant monthly dues were a little higher than other complexes and our Buyers were pleased with the facilities and asked us to secure the condo documents for their review.

Secure we did....and learned that the Association had not collected sufficient dues in escrow to replace all the roofs in the complex...and now was the time that they needed replacing.  A bid had been secured and the work was to be done over a period of time with each unit owner being told what the assessment would be and when the two payments were due which totaled five figures. Because not all units were the same size and floor plan, assessments varied by style.

     Some of the Sellers in the complex, we think wisely, said that they would be responsible for the roof assessment with their listing. After all, Buyers were not residents...could not have known that the treasury was far short of being funded for this needed replacement.

    Many perspective  Buyers of ANY condo complex would assume that roof replacement would be something the association would plan on replacing. Sometimes Buyers assume that the association always replaces windows...they do not "alwapaper pile of documentsys".   Few things in life are always or never.

   Before you purchase a condo that will have a treasury that is responsible for repairs and replacements...ask the questions. Who is responsible for...how many dollars have been allocated for...How old is the roof ...what is the cost of maintaining....the pool, the park etc.   One can learn many of these things reading the mountain of condo documents.  Make your list of questions before and after reading the documents...and when you have read them once...sleep on them and read them again.

   When it comes to condo and home ownership...the best surprise is no surprise...read the small print...ask the hard questions...have a qualified Realtor represent your interests.  

   If you or anyone you know is considering the purchase of a condo or a single family home, Call the Hansons, we read the small print and represent your best interests as a Buyer's agent.  We want your happily ever after to be just that...Happy !

Posted by

Sally K. & David L. Hanson, ABR, CDPE, CSS, e-Pro,ILHM, REDS

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Will Nesbitt 02/29/2016 12:09 AM
Home Buying
condo documents
buying a condo in wisconsin
replacement costs in a condo

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Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

It is important to check the documents when buying a condo.

Feb 28, 2016 07:51 PM #5
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI
Realty One Group - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Sally K. & David L. Hanson These sorts of oversights can cost agents and new buyers plenty of bucks! Good post!

Feb 28, 2016 08:34 PM #6
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

This is very good information to share with prospective condo purchasers.

Feb 28, 2016 09:05 PM #7
Chris Lima
Atlantic Shores Realty Expertise - Port St Lucie, FL
Local or Global-Allow me to open doors for you.

This is a must share with anyone thinking of purchasing a condo. 

Feb 28, 2016 10:32 PM #8
Dan Rosenberger
Harvest Realty - Westfield, IN

Since a condo or series of units were all built around the same time, the roof replacement would come about the same time for all units.  Whereas other repairs or expenses might be spread across time.  So it is helpful to know the age and condition of the roof and to know if there are adequate reserves building up to cover that expense.

Feb 28, 2016 10:39 PM #9
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

That could be a big expense. When hurricanes came through Florida we had an assessment for roof replacement because it wasn't expected and insurance deductibles were very high. It hurt.

Feb 28, 2016 10:39 PM #10
Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC
Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC - Rockledge, FL
... a small office, delivering big service!

A very appropriate warning to buyers.  The sufficiency of monthly association fees is a more important question than  just how much they are!

Feb 28, 2016 10:48 PM #11
Joy Bender
Pacific Sotheby's - La Jolla, CA
#1 San Diego Luxury Real Estate Digital Marketer

Great post important info for buyers due diligence with condos and townhomes.  

Feb 28, 2016 11:09 PM #12
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

I have been very LUCKY (I guess) through the years I've owned condos as the worse I've been hit with is aq Water special acessment of $200 .

Feb 28, 2016 11:33 PM #13
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

On the termite inspection we push back everything to HOA on the exterior. HOA is supposed to repair only if they have enought damage and have money for it....

Feb 29, 2016 12:06 AM #14
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Your Buyers should be thanking their lucky stars that they are working with professionals that are educated, aware, and took pro-active measure regarding fact finding on this Condo and Condo Association, Sally K. & David L. Hanson.   


Feb 29, 2016 01:30 AM #15
Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

I know of someone that lives in a condo that was just assessed $30,000 for the replacement of hvac for the entire building.

Feb 29, 2016 03:06 AM #16
Marzena Melby
Coldwell Banker Burnet Realty - Richfield, MN
Realtor, Twin Cities Minnesota Real Estate

Associations and their situations vary so much from one another, that this is another good reason for buyers to work with an experienced Realtor who can help ask the right questions.

Feb 29, 2016 03:32 AM #17
Carol Williams
U.S.: I specialize in helping agents who have been in the business 2 years or less create a thriving business. - Wenatchee, WA
"Customized Mentoring & Marketing Services"

Reviewing the financials is so critical and, unfortunately, many buyers (or agents) don't know how to properly analyze them then end up with an unexpected and substantial special assessment.

Feb 29, 2016 05:12 AM #18
David Alan Baker Laveen & South Phoenix Realtor
HomeSmart - Laveen, AZ
Your local Expert

Condos and town homes, great options.  But you really do need a strong association, and financials, if not .............hmmm.

Feb 29, 2016 08:12 AM #19
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

And I'm sure this is exactly why some mortgage companies won't approve condo mortgages when the complex doesn't have a certain amount in reserves for just those types of issues.

Thanks for sharing!

Feb 29, 2016 07:36 PM #20
Nina Hollander
RE/MAX Executive | Charlotte, NC - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Really points out why when buying in a condo association one needs to check out HOA fees, reserves, history of assessments, etc. And some HOA's have higher fees and don't assess, while others have lower fees but assess for everything.

Feb 29, 2016 08:31 PM #21
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

I have a client of mine who replaced some flooring in their unit only to be told that they were in violation by not getting permission first. HOA rules...RULE

Mar 01, 2016 12:27 AM #22
Michael Kaim
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Professional Realty - Mentor, OH
Real Estate team serving the Cleveland Area

Great information Sally K. & David L. Hanson 

Mar 01, 2016 09:43 AM #23
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

this is great advice for buyers.  I sold a condo we owned when the special assessment for retaining walls became prohibitive and I knew it would be followed shortly by a second assessment for the decks and balconies! 

May 26, 2016 08:51 PM #24
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Sally K. & David L. Hanson

WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce - Short Sale
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