Market Wise Q&A: Why Would the Listing Proclaim that the Buyer Must Pay the $10,000 in Delinquent Homeowner Fees?

Pat Kapowich for the San Jose Mercury News Q: We want to make an offer on a townhouse that has been on the market for a very long time. The listing proclaims that the buyer must pay the $10,000 in delinquent Homeowner Association maintenance fees. This distressed property is now a bargain even if we did pay the $10,000 in back dues. What other issues or surprises should we expect dealing with this property?

A: First, you must find out if more than 15% of the Homeowners are also unable or unwilling to pay their monthly homeowner fees. Secondly, what percentage of homeowners actually lives in their townhouses? Finally, is this one of the homeowner associations that is financially strapped? The wrong answer to any of these important questions in your lender's view will result in having your transaction fall apart. It's best to have your agent and loan officer gather this information upfront before you invest time, money and energy into a transaction.


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