Archive for September 2nd, 2009

St. Augustine Real Estate: Buying a Condo

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

by Sean

Condo sales in St. Augustine are about a third to half of where they were in the boom market. 
Why? Inventory and credit.
Condos up and down the beach have seen relatively few foreclosures based on their size, but mainland condos, specifically ones completed between 2005-2007 (not the older, established communities) have seen foreclosure rates that are pretty high. 
So the established communities with solid track records get lumped into the same credit pool as the more risky group.  Yet a new townhome community with the same problems as a new condo community can get easy lending because it’s classified as residential/single-family home.
Thus the high inventory.
 
As a rule of thumb you HAVE to get with your lender, because they may not even lend in this market.  While FHA is available for some communities with only 3.5% down (on a case by case basis), typically your talking 20%, 30%, or even 50% down to conventionally finance a condo.
Once you narrow your targets, here’s some things your lender may need to know if you want to buy a condo in St. Augustine today:
  • Does the community have at least 70% primary residents (in other words, less than 30% rentals).  I do not know of a community in St. Augustine that will meet this criteria.
  • Does the community have insurance? I don’t know of any that do not.
  • Is the community involved in any litigation?
  • Is the community over 10% delinquent in its association fees?