Archives: November 2009

Pick Your Mortgage Provider with as Much Care as You Pick Your Doctor

There are many steps to financing a condo purchase when times are good. In today’s market when things are not so hot, there are even more hoops to jump through. Just as you want a highly competent medical specialist and a world-renowned hospital when you are sick, you need a highly competent mortgage broker and a mortgage company with realistic underwriting guidelines in challenging real estate markets.

What prompted this post is a closing that took place yesterday…over a month after the original closing date. The reason was the mortgage company…and not necessarily the mortgage agent! By the way, the buyers put 20% down, had exceptional credit scores, and both husband and wife have well-paying jobs!

Three Steps to Stress-Free Condo Financing

1. Assuming that you have secured the services of a competent real estate agent, seek the agent’s guidance in selecting a mortgage provider. An experienced agent will know which companies are “condo friendly” and which agents have the best track records.

2. Use a mortgage provider that has provided mortgages in the condo complex where you buying. On Cape Cod, some of the local financial institutions are better bets than those with off-Cape underwriters. 

3. Use a local mortgage agent who is familiar with the area and the condo complex. Since they have already jumped through hoops for previous clients, they will know how to guide you through them for your closing.

Maybe “stress-free” is a bit of an overstatement, but if you follow these three steps, your purchase will be a lot less stressful.

FalmouthPort: Money in the Bank is a Great Thing

Repaving main entry road at 9 AMA maintenance reserve:  What an idea!

 In the midst of our country’s major financial crisis and with daily news casts about both public and private credit debt, it is refreshing to see a condominium community that has wisely put money aside since its inception.  So while other complexes defer projects due to a lack of funds, FalmouthPort in Falmouth, MA just goes on about its business.

FalmouthPort is a waterfront condo community on Cape Cod.  Since it was built in the late 1970’s, the Association Board with its current professional management company, the American Properties Team, have managed the property in a highly professional manner. 

 Three points need to be highlighted:

1. The Board knew from day one that even though the complex was new, the day would come when repairs would be needed.

2. A Long-range Repair and Replacement Plan was adopted, and money (a maintenance reserve fund) was set aside .

3. The funds were invested conservatively.  When stocks were rising wildly, the fund did not grow as fast as some would have liked.  When the market tanked, however, the fund was barely touched.

What spurred this entry?  Today the main road was repaved.  No, there was not just a top coat applied; the old road was removed, and a new one put in its place. 

Finished base coat at 4:00 PM

  And most important: there was not a special assessment.