Author Topic: Condo purchase- help! high pressure  (Read 15331 times)

SnackDog

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Re: Condo purchase- help! high pressure
« Reply #50 on: November 08, 2014, 05:13:27 AM »
Do NOT put down more than 1% earnest money. If the deal falls thru and they choose to be difficult you could be out the earnest money or in court for a year to claim it back. All they have to do is refuse to sign it back to you, as pressure to buy. It has happened to me! Was 1% so I had to go to small claims to get it back. Took ages and I was glad it was small.

begood

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Re: Condo purchase- help! high pressure
« Reply #51 on: November 08, 2014, 07:12:41 AM »
I'm going to come at this from a different angle and encourage you NOT to buy at the tippy top of your range, leaving you with no wiggle room. Because you know what? Wiggle room is the best thing ever. It could be what takes you to FI.

We bought at the top of our range in 2007, thinking we would stay in the house 7-10 years and my mister's income would increase, thereby giving us the comfort of wiggle room again. Well, two years later, we chose to make a big life change, my husband's salary dropped by half, and we sold the house in the summer of 2009, losing $80K in the process. OMG, the STRESS.

And I strongly encourage you not to go to the tippy-top of your range by buying this particular condo. There are just too many red flags.

The thing that tipped it for me is the HOA taking out a loan so big that it will increase the HOA monthly amount for every unit by $150 for THIRTY YEARS. That's... crazy. And it tells me the HOA doesn't have its shit together. They had inadequate insurance for the storm, inadequate reserves to fill the gap in insurance, and then decided to punt the responsibility for the difference THIRTY YEARS into the future. And if they've already coughed up the info that 20% of residents are behind on their HOA dues, AND there are no HOA minutes because of a "computer crash"? NO. NO. NO.

And please, please, please, do NOT give them more than a year's salary as EARNEST MONEY. That's INSANE.

I apologize for getting all CAPS LOCK OMG on you, but it seems like you're still considering buying this place, and in my view, the best thing to do would be to withdraw the offer completely.

helpmeee

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Re: Condo purchase- help! high pressure
« Reply #52 on: November 08, 2014, 09:52:46 AM »
hey guys!
thanks to everyone for their amazing answers. i got a little tripped up trying to reply to everyone, lol.

my SO and i had a long chat and we are going to withdraw our offer. we don't like the earnest money situation, the HOA situation, the high pressure, or maxing out our budget.  we're calling on monday to withdraw our offer, and we're gonna take a couple months and save up some more money and try again somewhere else :)

wow big learning experience!  we both feel a lot better prepared for all kinds of real estate pressure tactics/negotiations.

we're relieved to be able to call their bluff, or at least i am on a personal level. haha i've been checking the zillow listing and it still says for sale ;) might still be updated but we haven't heard anything from the buyer's agent about the signing happening yesterday or anything.

helpmeee

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Re: Condo purchase- help! high pressure
« Reply #53 on: November 08, 2014, 10:07:14 AM »
Do NOT put down more than 1% earnest money. If the deal falls thru and they choose to be difficult you could be out the earnest money or in court for a year to claim it back. All they have to do is refuse to sign it back to you, as pressure to buy. It has happened to me! Was 1% so I had to go to small claims to get it back. Took ages and I was glad it was small.

i feared as much. everyone seems to say oh it's no big deal you can get it back but with such a huge sum of money i'm sure there are ways to jerk people around and not give it back. that's the thing about nyc, lol, you know everyone is out to get you, the trick is to figure out how... lol.

glad you got your earnest money back!!  good to know their offer was just bananas.

helpmeee

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Re: Condo purchase- help! high pressure
« Reply #54 on: November 08, 2014, 10:12:44 AM »
I'm going to come at this from a different angle and encourage you NOT to buy at the tippy top of your range, leaving you with no wiggle room. Because you know what? Wiggle room is the best thing ever. It could be what takes you to FI.

We bought at the top of our range in 2007, thinking we would stay in the house 7-10 years and my mister's income would increase, thereby giving us the comfort of wiggle room again. Well, two years later, we chose to make a big life change, my husband's salary dropped by half, and we sold the house in the summer of 2009, losing $80K in the process. OMG, the STRESS.

And I strongly encourage you not to go to the tippy-top of your range by buying this particular condo. There are just too many red flags.

The thing that tipped it for me is the HOA taking out a loan so big that it will increase the HOA monthly amount for every unit by $150 for THIRTY YEARS. That's... crazy. And it tells me the HOA doesn't have its shit together. They had inadequate insurance for the storm, inadequate reserves to fill the gap in insurance, and then decided to punt the responsibility for the difference THIRTY YEARS into the future. And if they've already coughed up the info that 20% of residents are behind on their HOA dues, AND there are no HOA minutes because of a "computer crash"? NO. NO. NO.

And please, please, please, do NOT give them more than a year's salary as EARNEST MONEY. That's INSANE.

I apologize for getting all CAPS LOCK OMG on you, but it seems like you're still considering buying this place, and in my view, the best thing to do would be to withdraw the offer completely.


hahahaha, when you put it like that, how could we refuse? psych. caps much appreciated for the ridiculousness of the situation. it's difficult to see how crazy it is from the inside when you're standing in the place being bowled over by it, but yea, when you type it all out in black and white it just looks like a terrible deal.

in our meager defense, the place is gorgeous. but, it's turning out it's overwhelmingly not worth it. i told my SO all i really wanted was the nice tiles in the bathroom there, lol. we can just buy some cheap place and retile it with the fancy tiles and i'll be happy :)

sol

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Re: Condo purchase- help! high pressure
« Reply #55 on: November 08, 2014, 10:36:09 AM »
If you're happy with the decision, then it was the right one.

Is there a lower price at which you'd consider buying this condo?  I ask because there's a nonzero chance that the other offer was a complete bluff and you're the only fish on the line, so when you back off they might come crawling to you with another lower offer.

Even crazy red flags can be dealt with for the right price, but the place would probably have to be a real steal.  You're probably better off waiting a bit, finding something more suitable, and then retiling the bathroom.

helpmeee

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Re: Condo purchase- help! high pressure
« Reply #56 on: November 08, 2014, 11:19:03 AM »
we talked about the possibility of that- walking away and seeing if they came back now or later. we decided we'd be open to counter counter negotiations if 1) they brought the earnest money down to like $5k and 2) they accepted a lower offer. we're thinking we could split the difference between our first offer and the counter.  if those two conditions were met, we'd seriously reconsider.  but for now we're moving ahead with the assumption that won't happen.

i think for we got a little overwhelmed and need a cooling off period, lol. we are declining this offer and sitting tight until like feb when our $ reserves are built up a bit more, then looking around and seeing what's available, and where to get the fancy tile :) it's the iridescent kind, very pretty.

hey on a side note, a few of you have mentioned learning more about the process which i am really in to.  do you guys have any recommendations for books, articles, websites that would outline this stuff a little more clearly? i have a few basic personal finance books (total money makeover, smart women finish rich, some misc others), but something more specific to home-buying would be really helpful.
thanks in advance :)

Jellyfish

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Re: Condo purchase- help! high pressure
« Reply #57 on: November 08, 2014, 11:33:07 AM »
NYC is a whole different ball game real-estate-wise from the rest of the country, from what I understand.  From reading this whole post my suggestion is to find NYC-specific sources of info to research up for next time, and interview several realtors who are not personal friends, and hire one who you feel is the most knowledgeable.  It sounds like the realtor you had in this instance really didn't do a good job serving your interests and when you know them personally outside of the transaction its hard to hold them accountable in the same way you would otherwise. 

Goldielocks

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Re: Condo purchase- help! high pressure
« Reply #58 on: November 08, 2014, 11:57:02 AM »
What on earth would someone pay to have an inspection $, professional HOA review $, etc... if your 'verbal' offer could be rejected at any point. Makes no sense.  Ditch your agent and interview 3 others. Get the name and number of the condo HOA president and see what's going on. You do not want this place if there is a large assessment in the near future., insufficent reserves for repairs, etc.. You are entitled by law to get copies of all the HOA minutes, etc...

This offer sounds real shady.

+500!

Three different cities and I never paid for lawyer, title insurance, or inspection until the initial offer was written. With subject toe, but still....  In a hot market, I did waive the inspection once on a condo, but had very detailed hoa inspection reports and documents.

We have only ever paid between $2000 and $10000 earnest money, which was never more than 5%. And the largeset amount because they asked, we had it in cash already , and knew we would not back out except if one of our contingent clauses blew up. (Like a bad inspection or how depreciation report or how financials ). Earnest money is to prevent you from walking away even if all inspections and docs are great. It needs to be high enough to make you pause, and low enough to let you walk away, painfully, should a major issue come up, like a meth lab next door, or you get injured or lose a job.

Given that it is verbal and the realtor you have is a friend. I would counter with an offer to RENT the place.   Good decision to back out.

The other suggestion of how low would you accept? Is good for thought. I would reduce the offer by $150 x12x 30 years, and then another $15k on top. $15k was our assessment when the whole building needed to be tripped for plumbing. So plan for another big assessment as they won't be able to create any reserves without forcing sales after it is voted in.

Way too many how issues with no reserve ( what is hoa plan to pay next 15 years of repairs?)and not able to claim missing hoa dues until owners sell their property. Heck your seller could be one of the ones owing.

« Last Edit: November 08, 2014, 12:04:34 PM by goldielocks »

electriceagle

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Re: Condo purchase- help! high pressure
« Reply #59 on: November 09, 2014, 08:32:27 PM »
I stopped when the original poster said that her offer was accepted verbally.

Do not buy this condo.
Beyond that: do not buy any property offered by this seller's agent.
Further: Fire your buyer's agent for letting you consider this deal.

Jacana

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Re: Condo purchase- help! high pressure
« Reply #60 on: November 09, 2014, 10:13:25 PM »

in our meager defense, the place is gorgeous. but, it's turning out it's overwhelmingly not worth it. i told my SO all i really wanted was the nice tiles in the bathroom there, lol. we can just buy some cheap place and retile it with the fancy tiles and i'll be happy :)

Wow. Just wow. We are about to sell our first home in MD (as in offer/counter-offer stage started today) and it is crazy how different the rules and standard practices are in different areas. We can't have anything verbal, all must be written initialed etc from the get go.

But that's not really relevant, what I wanted to say was I am sorry you lost your gorgeous condo and many of us know how hard it is to walk away from a dream home. But at the top of your budget, it is not worth it. Disaster loomed. And gorgeous (cosmetically) is achievable almost anywhere. You are so right with the tiles and everything else. You can find a cheaper one with less problems and a great location/building/whatever, maybe one that has been overlooked because it is ugly or old or dated but is all structurally sound, and make it into your gorgeous condo with more breathing room. We choose a cheap as dirt townhouse with stinky old carpets and terrible pink old lady decor, and turned it into a completely new modern house (except the kitchen, that would have been next) and people really are submitting competing offers saying they love our beautiful home and are desperate to buy it. 3 days after listing. And I will be so sad to leave because I love it too.

I don't know if you would get good roi in NYC with complete remodels and you would need to watch your budgeting and choices but I do think that you would have paid dearly for that "gorgeous" in the long run. And you might find tiles you like even better!

helpmeee

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Re: Condo purchase- help! high pressure
« Reply #61 on: November 17, 2014, 02:28:44 PM »
because i love followups on old threads, thought i'd update.

we rejected the offer, they said fine.  surprise, over a week later and the place is NOT in contract (on zillow) as the agent said it would be.

we found another place we're checking out, it's nearby, much more reasonably priced. it doesn't have the spectacular view the first place has, but the view is nice. the kitchen/bathrooms are definitely less flashy (but serviceable), but it's got a cool roof deck and lots of skylights. maybe this one will work out a little better ;)

definitely learned a lot of lessons on this go around. thanks everyone for their help!!

Mother Fussbudget

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Re: Condo purchase- help! high pressure
« Reply #62 on: November 17, 2014, 02:35:23 PM »
Cool!  Thanks for the update!  You can always redo the kitchen & bath to match your desires.  Here's wishing you much happiness in your new place.

slugline

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Re: Condo purchase- help! high pressure
« Reply #63 on: November 17, 2014, 02:55:54 PM »
Thumbs up for your update. I wish your buyer agent would have helped you with your basic questions instead of needing this forum as a sounding board.  Nevertheless I believe you probably dodged a financial bullet by not yielding to the high-pressure seller!

I don't know how it works in NYC, but house purchase contracts in Texas are not very long. It's worth the time to sit down and actually read everything before signing, and find explanations to any clauses that you don't understand.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2014, 02:58:41 PM by slugline »

helpmeee

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Re: Condo purchase- help! high pressure
« Reply #64 on: November 17, 2014, 03:15:24 PM »
Cool!  Thanks for the update!  You can always redo the kitchen & bath to match your desires.  Here's wishing you much happiness in your new place.

thanks! :)

we're not 100% sure if this next place is it- going to check it out again tomorrow, but everything about it seems a lot more legit than the other place.

totally!  i've heard it's quite a pain to reno a kitchen/bathroom, but as i said they are serviceable, just not pretty pretty ;) so i might be a little grousey about it but honestly it's miles above what we have now.

helpmeee

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Re: Condo purchase- help! high pressure
« Reply #65 on: November 17, 2014, 03:19:39 PM »
Thumbs up for your update. I wish your buyer agent would have helped you with your basic questions instead of needing this forum as a sounding board.  Nevertheless I believe you probably dodged a financial bullet by not yielding to the high-pressure seller!

I don't know how it works in NYC, but house purchase contracts in Texas are not very long. It's worth the time to sit down and actually read everything before signing, and find explanations to any clauses that you don't understand.

thanks!
yeah, i think i was probably a little shy to ask since she was a friend, didn't want to take up too much of her time.  we decided to just go it alone for the time being.

good to know about the contracts. i do a lot of contract reviewing at my job, so i'm not shy about marking things up, crossing them out, and revising all day long :)

ironically, at the new place we saw yesterday, the buyer's agent said they disliked the agent of the original condo, and that i didn't want it.  she was like long story short, you dont want it.
wayyy curious now what's up with it.

possibly haunted... by bad business decisions

Spondulix

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Re: Condo purchase- help! high pressure
« Reply #66 on: November 18, 2014, 02:59:40 AM »
yeah, i think i was probably a little shy to ask since she was a friend, didn't want to take up too much of her time.  we decided to just go it alone for the time being.
Congrats on walking away from the deal - I know how hard that is to do with a house you love!

I do have to bring up a bit of a red flag I'm seeing in your post, though. You're talking about money and life decisions, which 100% needs to be  about you and what's right for you. If you find a great place and have to move fast to get an offer in, you're going to be bothering your agent and taking up a lot of her time, but that's what you are hiring her to do. At that point, it's not about having an equal friendship - it's about business. She'd get a 3% commission out of the sale, right?

Would you feel guilty if you guys decided not to buy and she earned nothing for her time? Would it affect your friendship? What if you lost your dream house on account of something she did? I think sometimes we hire friends because it seems like the easy or comfortable thing (or we just want to help them out)... but down the road, it can get complicated. It's something to think through before getting much deeper, because friendships do get ruined over these things.