The hunt is on. After scrimping and saving to buy that perfect home housing consumers have been dreaming of, it is time to start looking. How long will it take to find that one perfect house? Will they know it the minute they walk in? Will they fall in love with the view from living room window or will the smell of brownies baking in the oven convince them they have found the home of their dreams?
Wait a minute. Not so fast. Do they have any idea what they are buying? If that dream home is in a mandatory membership residential association, what they see, is not necessarily what they are getting. In fact they are buying a lot more than the eye can see.
Sara Benson joins us On The Commons this week. Sara, a 32 year Real Estate broker in Chicago, knows all the pitfalls of buying a house that is part of a residential association. She is the founder of Association Evaluation, a company that digs beneath the surface of the “unit” that is being bought to uncover not only any structural defects with that dream home, but all the buried problems lurking in the shadows of the association. With a long list of potential problem areas to inspect, questions to ask and documents to read, housing consumers who buy the service will end up with a comprehensive evaluation of the entire neighborhood that will also become their financial responsibility should they choose to seal the deal on that house. Sara opens our eyes to the problems owners have encountered, the staggering additional dues that can be levied and the reasons for these unimagined liabilities that are part and parcel of being a modern day homeowner.