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Monday, September 25, 2006

Bubblicious Q and A

It seems to be a slow news day today, as far as real estate in the Seattle area goes. So, I'll share this "Home Forum" that appeared in the Seattle Times a few weeks back. If you haven't seen it before, it's a short Q & A column where Elizabeth Rhodes answers reader questions about real estate. I thought that the questions that were asked in the September 9th column were an interesting and amusing mix:

Q: My Edmonds condo is in a building with six units. One recently sold for $760,000, which I think is well above what that unit or any other in the building is worth.

What effect will the sale of this unit have on the property taxes the rest of us pay?
...
Q: The condo I just bought had a termite problem that was successfully treated before the sale closed. My plan is to update the unit and sell it soon.

This is an investment property I don't intend to live in. Am I legally required to disclose the termite situation to potential buyers?
...
Q: I am downsizing by moving into my mother-in-law apartment and renting out my four-bedroom main house. How does one figure the cost of shared utilities?
It's a 'trifecta' of bubble queries. We've got one homeowner that's worried about their budget being ruined by the bubble, an "investor" (a.k.a. a flipper) that hopes to sneak potential problems past some poor sap buyer, and a homeowner that can't afford to live in their own home. What a wonderful time we are living in!

(Elizabeth Rhodes, Seattle Times, 09.09.2006)

3 comments:

Peckhammer said...

Q: The condo I just bought had a termite problem that was successfully treated before the sale closed. My plan is to update the unit and sell it soon.

This is an investment property I don't intend to live in. Am I legally required to disclose the termite situation to potential buyers?


What are the chances that the termites are discriminating enough to only be eating one unit...

The condo resale certificate should have this information on it, even if the seller decides to hide this from potential buyers. However, it has been my experience that in the past that people will jump headfirst into a purchase without questioning the resale certificate even if it has dire warnings written all over it.

For example, only an idiot or someone with deep pockets would buy a unit in my building, based upon the disclosure on the resale certificate -- yet units more or less fly off the market. And occasionally I get calls from RE agents trying to close deals for sales in which someone did question the disclosure (1). What usually transpires is that the agent asks me the same basic questions in a dozen different ways and then reports back the least offensive answer.

(1) I am a board member for a condo project that should have been named the Edmund Fitzgerald.

navygator said...

We actually ran into the owner living in the basement issue last year when we moved from WA to MD. We were interested in renting a house in Annapolis until the owner told us that he, his wife and their 5 year old daughter would be living in the fully finished basement b/c he lost his job but didnt want to sell.

Eleua said...

the owner told us that he, his wife and their 5 year old daughter would be living in the fully finished basement b/c he lost his job but didnt want to sell.

You have seen the future of the Real Estate Lumpenvestoriat.