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How To Buy a Condo, Townhouse or Coop and Avoid Problems – Part II

In Part I of this series we discussed the various types of condo ownership and how they change the type of financial and legal responsibilities associated with each type of ownership. Part II of this series are some tips and a checklist that you can use to help you in the buying decision process.

Who is managing the Condo or Coop Board?

Nothing is probably more indicative of the quality of management, financial well being, and property condition than the management of the Association or Board. If it is a small Association then more than likely one or more of the Association members has volunteered for the position. This is a thankless job which frequently has no monetary remuneration associated with it. Thus there are frequent changes to the management which is not always a good sign. However, if one person has been managing the company for many years, this may be a sign that the other owners are not paying attention to what is happening to the common property and the financial health of the Association. Good participation by all owners is a good sign that everyone is involved in the financial and property upkeep. A healthy attendance at Board Meetings is always a good sign. Continue reading

How To Buy a Condo, Townhouse or Coop and Avoid Problems – Part I

Condo, coop, or townhouse ownership implies that you will be sharing all property, financial and legal responsibilities with other owners . This can pose a problem when there is a wide variety of homeowners in your association each of whom has their own distinctive ideas on how to allocate financial resources and set priorities. It also leaves open the possibility of nefarious arrangements developing over time between Board of Directors, contractors, and other owners.

Large condo associations can be the size of a small town with an associated multi-million dollar budget and reserves, and this may create many fiduciary issues. When shopping for a new condo, townhouse or coop, it is best to know ahead of time what you might be getting into and how to avoid some of the more difficult  problems associated with joint home ownership.

First, as you begin shopping for your new home, it is important to understand the distinction between these three forms of home ownership:
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