Cannot Obtain Condo Financing
Q. I’m trying to buy a condominium, but it cannot be financed due to HOA issues. Are there any lenders who can do financing in these cases? Robby H., Falls Church, VA
A. There are a few, but they are hard to find, and they charge higher interest rates and fees. But I would caution you: There is a reason why the complex cannot be financed. It may be a minor issue like the HOA hasn’t completed the proper process with lenders, or it may be a major issue like serious construction defects.
Before you move forward, you might want to find out exactly wherein the problem lies. You should avoid properties with major issues, like the construction issue, or litigation, or low owner occupancy, or the HOA is broke, or any other problems. Once you take title to the property, those problems become your problems too, and that may impact your ability to sell the property in the future. Good luck!
Tankless Gas Water Heaters
Q. I’m thinking about changing out my water heater to one of the tankless water heaters to save money. Have you done this with any properties? Myra N., Ft. Myers, FL
A. You probably won’t be saving any much money changing to a tankless. While they do use a little less natural gas, the cost of natural gas is very very low. But, tankless heaters cost about double the amount of a normal water heater (just for the heater itself), and you probably will need to have some pipes moved and have it installed. Get several bids if you want to pursue this option.
Tankless heaters are nice if you need to save space in a small property, but due to the cost of the unit and the minimal savings on usage, they probably don’t make financial sense.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was written by Leonard Baron, MBA, who is America’s Real Estate Professor® His unbiased, neutral and inexpensive “Real Estate Ownership, Investment and Due Diligence 101” textbook teaches real estate owners how to make smart and safe purchase decisions. He is a San Diego State University Lecturer, blogs at Zillow.com, and loves kicking the tires of a good piece of dirt! Email Your Questions to: Leonard@ProfessorBaron.com