Profile picture for bosnycmia

No parking included in title - Issues with title, title insurance, and lender?

I'm buying a condo in Miami area which is advertised as with a parking space. Now only less than 2 wks left before closing, we found out the parking is not recorded in title (same with all units in the same condo building).

The condo's association/management doesn't keep a record of parking ownership, so I seem have to be on my own. Upon my request, my seller provided: 1) a mention of transfer of the parking with the exact lot number in one of the purchase contract addendum including 2) a new addendum created by seller writing a transfer of parking ownership from the seller (current owner) to me, and 3) copy of a deed warranty to the seller from the previous owner (which has no mention of parking).

It seems same with all units in this condo, and it seems no issue raised in the previous ownership. But I wonder if the fact that parking is not included in title could be an issue to a title insurance and my lender. Just by chance, the initial appraisal value of this condo came out as $10K lower price than the purchase price (which was a bit unreasonably conservative result) and the both seller and buyer (me) pointed out that the other units used for appraisal comparison did not have a parking but the appraisal ignored the fact. The appraiser agreed to raise the appraisal value to the purchase price - because of the parking, which is not included in title so not insured with title insurance! What should I do - should I ask the both title insurance (closing agent) and my lender about the parking not recorded in the deed? What would be consequences? I will have to tell them on Tue if I have to, since the time left is short for a smooth closing (and both the seller and I are out of state, signing by mail). Also, should I better appoint an attorney on the validity of these parking-related documents?

Any input is appreciated. Thank you, and HAPPY JULY 4th!
  • July 03 2011 - Miami
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Answers (8)

I think you would be well served by hiring an experienced, local Attorney who specializes in real estate, especially condo, matters. The little bit of money invested on an Attorney would be cheap insurance and certainly give you peace of mind.
  • July 03 2011
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Profile picture for Ofe Polack
Please contact a real estate attorney before closing.  It is a pity you are supposed to close on Tues and today Mon is a holiday.  You may need to postpone the closing until you clarify these issues.  Incredible!!! 
  • July 04 2011
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Bosnycmia,

Did you have a local Realtor working for you?  I cannot imagine this problem coming up at the last minute if you did.  It is now going to be very expensive to have a real estate attorney come in to help with this problem.
Good Luck!

Capt. Shawn
  • July 05 2011
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Profile picture for Sharon Lewis
I am not an attorney and not giving legal advice (nor allowed to as a Realtor) However, what i would like to suggest you consider doing, is ask the current seller to provide his/her original purchase showing the space was there when he/she bought it. Talk to an attorney and once you purchase, go to the the Home Owners Association meeting , bring this up and suggest that spaces get assigned to homeowners. Get involved with the board.
Good luck-love Miami its such a beautiful area, we have a home in the 
West Palm Beach area but live in North Carolina now :(
  • July 05 2011
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Yes! Contact an Attorney asap!
  • July 05 2011
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If it is deeded parking then you can just pull up the deed on line through the Dade County web site. The parking spot in this case has no bearing on the value of the condominium unit since it's not held to the condo unit (can be sold seperately). 

If the appraiser or contract price  has now included it in the value, the lender is going to back it back out as a sales concession.

  • July 05 2011
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Contact an attorney!

Research the original purchase of that unit and see how the parking was assigned and conveyed, also consider getting verification / conveyance from the condo association.
  • July 06 2011
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Profile picture for bosnycmia
Thank you all,

I think I should get an attorney to review paperwork, focusing on the parking matter, but also I'm afraid that sometime an attorney involvement makes things complicated/take longer time to close - especially when the closing day is this close (1 week!!!)

I probably wait until very last minutes and see if the condo association provides a verification doc of my parking spot as my closing agent pressures to the board. If so, I should have no issues....it's just same as many condos in South Beach area which typically have parking not deeded, so condo association assigns the parking with a document.

As for the purchase price/appraisal value, I have thought that it could be part of appraisal value even though it is not deeded, because 1) the condos used for price comparison in appraisal reports also have no parking deeded 2) parking was one of those factors not necessarily deeded such as high floor, ocean-view, energy efficiency, upgrades, pool area etc, but used to compare/adjust price differences in the appraisal report.

So I think for now I go for it without an attorney, but plan to hire one AFTER I purchase, and if there is an issue raised along parking at closing (then no choice). The good news is that my employer's group plan covers this kind of matter, so cost is not issue...
  • July 08 2011
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