Can you finance a condo in the current market? By Frank

Condo Financing
In this article I will be explaining the difference in financing a condo versus a single family residence. The first and most obvious difference is that each unit shares a building with the other units. In order to maintain the structure that houses all these units there must be an association as established by Florida Law. The rules and guidelines set by the association is for the benefit of all unit owners. This includes the payment of a monthly condo fee to maintain and pay common area repairs and upkeep such as landscaping.

In a condo you have limited rights as opposed to fee simple ownership (Single Family Residence) which gives you 100% ownership of the land and all the improvements. Each form of ownership poses different issues for lenders and mortgage insurance companies. Fee simple is the least riskiest for lenders. In a condo the additional condo fee expense is calculated into the borrowers mortgage expenses to qualify for their loan. This fee must be paid every month by the unit owner or the association has the right to foreclose on the property posing another risk to the lender.

Should a percentage of owners stop paying the condo fees, the remaining owners would be responsible and may see an increase in the fee to make up the difference. Another item that adds to the risk of lenders are unforeseen repairs such as replacing a roof. The replacement of a roof on a condo structure may run in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and should the association not have enough capital reserves the unit owners would be assesed a special assesment that is an unexpected expense for unit owners.

Due to these issues and many others lenders are very careful as to which condos qualify for financing. Fannie Mae the largest investor in the mortgage industry publicizes a list of which condos it will not lend on. This list is constantly being updated. Before a lender approves a loan on a condo they request a condo questionaire to the association or management copmpany that runs that association.

This form answers questions the lender needs to know in order to approve the condo for financing such as reserve requirements, percentage of investor properties and if involved in any litigation. Due to the flood of recent foreclosures many condos are no longer qualified for conventional financing and due to that the buyer may need to come up with a substancial down payment and incure higher cost and rates.

Should you want to check if a specefic condo is approved for conventional financing you can do so by visiting Click here . Should you have any further questions please feel free to contact me.

Automatically updated list of REO's in the upper Keys

Even though REOs are not always the best deals, many times they are. We do not have a lot of them in the Keys; here are the ones that are currently listed:
Click here
This link gets automatically updated when the properties go under contractt, new ones come on the market etc. So come back and check this list.
A few pointers regarding REOs: They are always 'as is', the bank will make no repairs.
When making an offer you need to be preapproved if getting financing; if it is a cash offer the bank requires 'proof of funds' (Bank statements, letter from the bank etc.).
If you are interested in Real Estate in rthe Keys please contact me at 305-393-0923 or

Check out the facts - what has gone under contract and sold in the last three weeks

This gives you a great idea about the Real Estate acitivity in the Upper Keys.
Click here to see all properties that have gone under contract in the past three weeks (and keep in mind that there are more; many Realtors wait to change the status to pending until all contingencies have been removed).
These have closed thus far.
If you are looking to buy or sell Real Estate in the Keys please contact me at 305-393-0923 or
I'll find you a great deal that suits your needs and wants!

All Water Front Homes listed by neighborhood in Key Largo

Buccaneer Point

Hammar Point

Key Largo Ocean Shores

Lake Surprise

Largo Sound

Lime Grove Estates

Ocean Isle Estates

Pirates Cove

Port Largo

Riviera Village

Sexton Cove

Silver Shores

Stillwright Point

Sunset Acres

Sunset Point

Sunset Waterways

Tavernier Ocean Shores

Twin Lakes

Winston Waterways

If you are interested in selling or buying Real Estate in the Keys please call me at 305-393-0923 or e-mail me to:

Waterfront homes in Islamorada/Plantation Key - sorted by neighborhoods

Indian Waterways

Kahiki Harbor

Lake Harbor


Pearl City

Plantation Lake

Plantation Key Colony

Plantation Shores

Plantation Lake Estates

Sunshine Estates


Treasure Harbor

Tropical Atlantic Shores

Venetian Shores

If you are interested in buying or selling property in the Keys please contact me at 305-393-0923 or e-mail me at

Inventory is decreasing

If you are seriously in the market of buying property in the Keys: Don't wait too long! The good deals are going and the inventory is decreasing. If you have missed a good deal and are waiting for the next one to come around and you are in "no hurry" you might miss the boat. Almost every 'good deal' property that I have shown to customers in the past few weeks is under contract and as properties are selling the supply is shrinking and the demand increasing. It is still a buyer's market, make sure to buy while that is the case. I'd love to help you locate the prefect property for you. You can reach me at 305-393-0923 or

Two Condo REO's

There are currently two REO's in condos and both of them are great deals:
One is in Moon Bay; it is a 2 bedrooms, 1,5 baths unit on the second floor with a DEEDED boat slip for $239,900 This unit is perfect for an investment/vacation property. Moon Bay permits weekly and rentals and produces good rental income especially when dockage is available. Take a look at this listing: You will easily break even on this condo:
Moon Bay

This is a 2 bedroom 2 baths condo in Tamarind Bay for $384,000 It has a great view of the bay and is a ground floor unit. This is perfect if you have little kids; they can walk to the pool etc. This is a great investment. You will not net as much in rentals but the future appreciation makes up for that. Dockage is assigned, Square footage is 1360 SF, every room has a view.
Please contact me for more pics. etc.
Tamarind Bay

Please contact me if you are interested in buying or selling Real Estate in the Keys:
305-393-0923 or

Another REO canal front in Key Largo for 310K Under contract

This is a unique home: a one bedroom home house with 1500SF living space. The top floor is one large master bedroom suite. It's a great deal, that's for sure.
If you'd like more info please contact me at 305-393-0923 or

Summary of July activity

Sorry, I just realized that I forgot to post my monthly summary for July.

Here it is:

Upper Keys
New listings
Price reductions
Under contract

Middle and Lower Keys:
New listings
Price reductions

If you are interested in buying or selling Real Estate in the Keys please contact me at 305-393-0923 or

Another REO (Bank Owned) CBS Canal Front on Lower Matecume for 499K under contract

Here is another great deal on Lower Matecumbe (MM76) on the Ocean side. The house is CBS; there are 2/2 upstairs and 1/1 downstairs. The downstairs is on the tax rolls which shoul indicate that it is legal. (in the process of being confirmed).

For more info please contact me at 305-393-0923 or

320K Canal Front House You will have to hurry on this one Under Contract

This house just came on the market. It is a 2 bedroom/2 baths frame stilt home with a cut in boat slip. It is an REO (that stands for Real Estate owned)which means that it is owned by the bank. You will either have to have proof of funds if you are making a cash offer or you'll need to be pre approved by the bank that owns the property (which you can do while making the offer). If you are interested please give me a call at 305-393-0923 or e-mail me at
I wish I could buy this!

Condo Townhouse Deals

There are some great condo deals out there and they can make for very good investments.
If you have dreamt of a house in the Keys but don't want to spend as much as a canal front house costs, a condo could be an alternative for you. Condos make great vacation homes: The grounds and buildings are kept up by the association and ammenities like tennis courts, pools,dockage, beaches, clubhouses etc. are at your disposal.
These are the best deals under 300K (in my opinion): Click here

Best deals beteen 300 and 500K: Click here

Best deals between 500 and 700K: Click here

Best deals between 700 and 900K: Click here

If you are interested in buying or selling Real Estate in the Keys please contact me at 305-393-0923 or

What I would buy in Single Family Homes

Following are what I consider the best buys.

Canal Front homes under 700K: Click here

Canal Front homes between 700K and 1 Million: : Click here

Open water front homes: : Click here

If you are seeking luxury and money really isn't the issue:: Voila

If you are looking to buy or sell Real Estate in the Keys please contact me at :305-393-0923 or

Good deals you might overlook

A lot of good deals get overlooked because they weren't good deals when they came on the market. Since they weren't good deals they didn't sell. They sat and sat and as they sat the sellers of these properties chased the market, lowering their price continuously but never low enough. Many of these properties get forgotten; Some have been on the market for years and nobody pays attention to them anymore. (If it has not sold in two years what can possibly be good about it?).
Some sellers maybe did not have to sell two years ago but circumstances might have changed and now they do have to sell. Don't overlook those properties! As a matter of fact most of my sales thus far this year were that kind of property.
REO's fly off the shelf when they get listed because they are priced right when coming on the market. There are other properties that are price as competitively as REOs.
If you would like a list of those properties please e-mail me to or call me at 305-393-0923