2010 Aug 18th

The Weekly Wednesday Wrap Up – Hoboken Condo Sales & Activity for the Week of August 17th

Hoboken Condos Sales & Activity – Week of August 17th

The Future of US Housingreality check

Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and the FHA currently guarantee 90% of all home mortgages. Yesterday in Washington a conference on the future of the US Government’s role in the housing market and the roles of Fannie Mae and the other GSEs made it clear that things are going to change. Tim Geithner said “”There is a strong case to be made for a carefully designed guarantee in a reformed system, with the objective of providing a measure of stability in access to mortgages, even in future economic downturns,” but the Secretary of HUD wants the government’s footprint to be much smaller than it is presently. Bill Gross, who runs Pimco, the world’s biggest bond fund and among the largest holder of US-backed mortgage securities, on the otherhand, urged for full nationalization of housing finance. He doesn’t believe it possible for the private market to ever come back. The co-president of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Mike Held, said “The policy challenge will be “how to marry this government guarantee with the maximum use of private capital in a way that minimizes the risk to the taxpayer, encourages competition, and ensures no one institution is too big to fail,” Heid said.The policy challenge will be “how to marry this government guarantee with the maximum use of private capital in a way that minimizes the risk to the taxpayer, encourages competition, and ensures no one institution is too big to fail,” Heid said the policy challenge will be “how to marry this government guarantee with the maximum use of private capital in a way that minimizes the risk to the taxpayer, encourages competition, and ensures no one institution is too big to fail.”   Taxpayers have paid for about $150 billion in aid to rescue Freddie & Fannie. Should this continue?

Disclaimer: The data relating to real estate transactions on this web site comes in part from the Hudson County MLS. While some of these listings are, in fact, our listings they are not ALL our listings nor do we hold them out as such. Century 21 Listings are identified with “C21” after the address. Other listings are from the MLS and are identified with “MLS” after the address. Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Studio & 1 Bedroom Hoboken Condos:

10 new listings

189 active

5 Dabos

None Sold

8 price reductions

Two Bedroom Hoboken Condos:

12 new listings

257 total listings.

3 Dabos

7 sold

13 price reductions

Three Bedroom and Larger Hoboken Condos:

3 new listing

51 active listings.

1 Dabo

1 sold

2 price reductions

Hoboken Condo Open Houses

If you are in the market for a Hoboken condo, our Hoboken Open House Google Map is your best source for locating every open house in Hoboken. It is the single, most complete listing available and we were the first ones to do it. We compile the information by hand from all possible sources to provide you with all the information you need in one spot. It’s posted on Friday every week.

Want to Receive New Listings & Price Reductions Daily?

If you would like to be emailed the new listings and price reductions each weekday in either 1br, 2br or 3br categories just email us at [email protected] letting us know which size(s) you would like and we’ll add you to the daily email list.

For more information you can always contact us at 201 993 9500.

Thanks for reading and, as always, we welcome your comments!

Posted by Lori Turoff | Currently 10 Comments »

2010 May 18th

Is Your Condo Adequately Protected?

Why Flood Insurance Is a Big Issueumbrella

One of the most important functions of  the Board of Directors of your condominium assocation is to provide adequate insurance.  This insurance differs from your own individual homeowner’s policy you have on your individual unit.  We’re talking about insurance on the common areas of the building.  Each unit owner has a proportional interest in the common areas.  This insurance  is paid for through the unit owners’ monthly maintenance charge.  What type and how much insurance a condo association should have is determined by the by-laws of the association and also by state regulation.  In addition to liability insurance, it is also necessary for a condo association to have flood insurance.  As we all know, Hoboken has an issue with flooding and, more importantly, almost all of it is located a flood zone (technically called a Special Flood Hazard Area or SFHA).  Here is an interesting flood zone map

Recently, there have been quite a few buyers who have had problems getting a mortgage for the Hoboken condo they wish to purchase because they learn that the condo association does not have adequate flood insurance.  Often times the lender requires that the condo have replacement value coverage.

This straight from the FEMA website:

Federal financial institution regulators state that the amount of flood insurance purchased for a structure in a high-risk area must at least equal the outstanding principal balance of the loan, the insurable value of the building, or the maximum amount of coverage available for the particular type of building under the NFIP, whichever is less.  However, the lender may exceed the minimum requirements, if necessary, and compel the purchase of limits that more fully protect the lender and the property owner.

What’s more, most loans being made today are sold on the secondary market and must therefore comply with Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines.  These guidelines may be even more stringent.  More specifics are available on the FEMA site or by speaking with a mortgage lender and insurance agent. 

Some buyers have the seller go to the condo board and try to convince them to increase the insurance coverage.  Of course, there is always resistance since more insurance means more premiums.  Yet Hoboken condo boards should not be short-sighted.  The marketability of each unit is at stake here.  While it may not be your unit for sale today, every unit owner is likely to come up against this issue when they try to sell.  In fact, a Board that does not arrange to provide adequate insurance coverage for the condo may find itself hit with a  lawsuit from the unit owners and Directors could even be held personally liable.

Similarly, condo associations are supposed to have separate accounts for their day-to-day operating expenses (paying the PSE&G bills, for example) and for a capital reserve account (replacing the roof).  Many Hoboken condos, especially smaller, self-managed ones do not.  Again, buyers are having real problems obtaining financing as a result. 

So at your next condo Board of Directors meeting (you do have those, I hope) it might be worth reexamining the adequacy of your flood insurance and the state of your condo’s finances.  The flood insurance guidelines are also set out on the FEMA website and are quite detailed and specific.  When you go to sell your unit, you will be glad you did.  If you are in the market to buy a condo in Hoboken, this is a question you should ask early on in the process – either during attorney review or even when making an offer.  A condo that is not adequately insured and has not kept its books correctly is certainly worth less than one that has, no?

Posted by Lori Turoff | Currently 8 Comments »

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