In the Market: The pros & cons of condo living

Nneka Madus
Posted by Nneka Madus
Mortgage Market Analyst

This weekly feature is a real estate news and information roundup from a millennial’s point of view. When a young professional moves from Indianapolis (median home price $125K) to San Francisco (median price $1 million), you can expect an adventure. Nneka Madus, an analyst in Bank of the West’s Mortgage Division, did just that and has plenty to share in her quest to own a home in San Francisco.

Brown, green, and cream decorative pillows on a bed, with view of the balcony outside the bedroom.If I decide to buy a home a San Francisco, I’m pretty sure that my housing choices will be limited to either a condo or townhome. I’m OK with living in a condo — primarily because of the low maintenance aspect. However, there are always trade-offs. For example, living in such close proximity to other people can have its drawbacks. In my apartment building, I can hear Every. Single. Footstep my neighbor takes upstairs. This is pretty minor compared to the millions of other noises I could be subjected to — babies crying, dogs barking, and tools drilling. If you’re considering buying a condo, Geoff Williams from U.S. World News & World Report gives homebuyers 3 pros and 3 cons of owning a condo that you may not have known.

Seller disclosures. Every closing transaction has them, but what do they mean and why do you really need to pay attention to them These disclosures are supposed to tell you everything (to the seller’s knowledge) that is wrong with the house — think of it as a CarFax for your home, but without the verification process. Still pretty helpful, right? Well, here’s something you should know: The amount of detail provided can vary state to state, even from city to city — if a seller doesn’t legitimately know about a problem, like a cracked foundation, the seller wouldn’t be held responsible. Yikes! For all homebuyers and sellers, Sandy Gadow from the Washington Post outlines some key points you may want to know about seller disclosures.

How could home listings stir so much drama? If you’ve been paying attention to the ongoing Zillow-Trulia drama, you might have been a bit worried if you had recently listed your home. For those not in the know, online real estate listing giant Zillow recently bought its biggest competitor, Trulia. Everything seemed to be going OK until ListHub, the largest provider of listings (and a provider to Trulia), objected. Long story short: ListHub decided to terminate its listing agreement with Trulia and, of course, Zillow wasn’t going to allow that. Now there’s a legal battle over keeping ListHub’s listings on Zillow. If you want to know what happens next and how this may affect you, check out Ben Lane’s article in HousingWire.

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