Profile picture for sandipshaha

too good to be true or some catch?

Here is the deal, I went to look out for single family owned home and my budget was around 300K. After looking couple of builders in an area I found another builder in the same area who was asking a price of 380K (relatively higher than the first 2 builders) but the agent there sort of looked ok to put my offer with the builder for about 300K and mentioned the builder might accept the offer. I thought it was single family owned home initially but it turned out to be condominium (as seen on offer paper), there's space between homes but there's no frontyard and driveway is shared between neighbours. Question - is it too good to be true lowered from 380 to 300 by agent and build agreeing to it. how to find a catch.
  • November 29 2011 - Bothell
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Answers (8)

Catch is that 300 might be too much for a LDMR zoned property (condo lot single family).  I would lean on your realtor for help in diagnosing this situation.
  • August 27 2012
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Bothell REALLY was overbuilt in the past 5-10 years with properties that in my humble opinion don't really mesh with the area. (You have to love 2,000-3,000+ sf foot homes 10 feet apart and within earshot of 405!) I'm not sure which part of Bothell you are in (my guess would be the SnoCo side based on your limited description), but I bet you can probably get a really good non-condo property in that range in Bothell if that is your preference.

I don't sell real estate in that areas anymore (though I do keep up on the market as a hobby since I have a house nearby in Woodinville). If you need someone to bounce ideas off of who has no financial interest in the deal, cannot collect commission, and will not accept a referral fee, feel free to drop me a line.
  • November 29 2011
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In Snohomish County, it's not uncommon to find a lot of communities that appear to be single-family but are actually condominiums.  Snoho differs from King County in that there really is no such thing there as a "zero lot line" (single family attached homes).  Instead, a common term for the area is "airspace condominium" or "single family condominium."  These live very similar to a single family home but as mentioned by some other respondants, have monthly dues and also will have rules & regs, bylaws, and other legal documents associated with the property - its not necessarily a bad thing that it's a condo, if its the right home for you.

As to what you are offering, this could be affected by a number of factors.  Does the builder still have a lot of homes left in the community, or is this one of hte last?  They'll usually reduce prices substantially on the last home or two, just to sell out.  Another question to ask: are you dealing with a BUILDER or a SELLER?  In Bothell in particular, there were a lot of condominium developments that were lost to the original builder, and then picked up by investors to sell.  If that's the case here, it might be another reason you're getting a good deal.

Finally, has the builder actually accepted your offer yet?  Site agents will usually do whatever they can to get something "on paper" - once you write your offer its a good starting point for the seller to actually negotiate and they have you a little hooked by then.  The builder may come back and counter somewhere in the middle instead.

I would definitely agree with the other comments, that you should get a real estate broker working for you who can check into more of the details on this for you.  You'll want to find out what their sales pace has been, what the last few homes have sold for, etc.
  • November 29 2011
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Builders commonly sell condos as Single Family Homes, why ? Because they are detached. Condo is a form of ownership, and condos can be detached, attached, business offices, boats, on and on. You will own 1/xx of the entire condo project, airspace within your unit, and an exclusive right to occupy your unit, thats it. Youll have HOA fees and an association that might not let you, or your neighbors, paint your home blue.

GET A REALTOR on your side, not the builders agent, to represent you! USE that Realtor for this unit or any unit or single family residence you buy, why go it alone, their services are free...

Or PAY an appraiser to quantify the value of this condo for your offer price. Here is a link of appraisers you can call...

  • November 29 2011
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I suggest that you consult with an attorney who handles residential real estate matters.  It's unusual for someone to sign a purchase agreement for a condo when he/she thinks he/she is purchasing a single family home.
  • November 29 2011
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Profile picture for hud_va
Well this is a buyers market, and you may be getting a good deal.  My big bit of advice is to do your due-diligence, and hopeful with an real estate broker.
  • November 29 2011
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Profile picture for daveskow
Also check financing options as condos will be more difficult to obtain loans on especiially if you have less than 20% down and if condo complex isn't an approved complex
  • November 29 2011
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Profile picture for Sharon Lewis
You know the old saying, if its too good to be true...it is.
Are you working with a realtor? They will be able to quickly assess the situation and tell you what is going on, they will also be able to tell you what the 'value' of the property is. Condos do not hold their value as well as Single family homes....and you have home owners association fees attached to the condo where as you may not have had them with the home.
Make sure that 'everything' is included' in that 300K fee. Frig, stove, etc. 
Is there anyone living on the other side? If so, I would suggest you knock on the door and talk to them about the sound quality and ask them to knock on the wall while you are in the empty unit,(and play music and walk around)
How is your market ? Do you think 300 will hold its value, is the builder building other condos? Will he lower those too, so your 300K will become devalued? Use a seasoned realtor on this one to protect your money please.
  • November 29 2011
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