Don’t buy or sell a condominium, co-op or townhouse withoutfirst reading Ken Roth’s revealing new book, “Everything You Need to KnowBefore Buying a Co-op, Condo, or Townhouse.” Written by an experiencedFlorida real estate attorney and condo investor, this important handbookexposes the good and bad of these specialized properties.
Not only is this book enjoyable, easy reading, but theauthor’s many personal experiences explain how to avoid potential pitfalls.Roth, who lives and practices law in south Florida, highlights the differencesbetween co-ops, condos and townhouses, their drawbacks and their advantages.
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Whether you are thinking of buying as a personal residence,or you are a speculating investor looking for a “quick flip” profit,the author explains how to protect yourself, especially when purchasing a newcondo from a professional developer. Roth emphasizes what is negotiable in suchpurchases and what is non-negotiable when dealing with new construction.
Along the way, the author discusses what makes a profitablecondo purchase, such as location, view and amenities, and how to avoid payingtoo much. The book’s final chapter ties everything together and shares how tosell your condo for maximum sales price.
I found especially interesting the author’s criteria forwhen it pays to renovate just before selling. His rule is don’t renovate unlessthe improvements will increase the unit’s marketability compared to competitiveunits on the market for sale.
The most valuable parts of the book are when Roth, afterexplaining the facts, provides his personal viewpoints based on many years ofowning multiple condos and his law practice experiences representing clients.Such information is priceless when determining what to look for and what toavoid when buying a condominium.
Heavy emphasis is placed on the role of the board ofdirectors who manage the homeowner’s associations. Many condo buyers areunaware when they purchase they become members of a mini-democracy and theymust submit to the decisions of the governing board made up of fellow owners.As a condo owner, I especially related to Roth’s description of the “condocommando” member who wants to take charge of virtually every condohomeowner’s association.
Chapter topics include “Preparing for the Search”;”Comparing Properties”; “Buying Directly from a Developer”;”Buying a Resale”; “Welcome to the Association: Dealing with theBoard of Directors”; “Understanding the Paperwork”;”Financing Your Purchase”; “Living in Your Condominium, Co-op orTownhouse”; and “Selling the Property.” The book concludes witha 90-question, multiple-choice quiz about the book’s contents.
By far, this is the best “how to buy acondominium” book I’ve read. It is ultra-complete, explaining both thelegal and practical aspects, as well as the pros and cons of condo ownership.The many personal examples add realism to the contents, along with the featuredparagraphs called key point, read and heed, teaching point, and keep in mind.On my scale of one to 10, this outstanding book rates an off-the-chart 12.
“Everything You Need to Know Before Buying a Co-op,Condo, Or Townhouse,” by Ken Roth (AMACOM Publishing, New York; 2006;$18.95; 197 pages), Available in stock or by special order at local bookstores,public libraries and www.Amazon.com.
(For more information on Bob Bruss publications, visit his
Real Estate Center).
Copyright 2006 Inman News