Buyer Beware: Potential homebuyers should ask these questions before the commitment

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MYRTLE BEACH (WBTW) – A new high rise condominium purchase for a recent Myrtle Beach resident quickly took a not-so-pleasant toll after signing a contract that did not disclose major information.

For future homeowners, it’s situations like Patricia Brady’s when asking the right questions is vital in protection against a fraudulent claims.

A $575 monthly fee at Blue Water Resort tripled for Brady months after she settled in and received this envelope to her surprise on October 11th.

“They did a special assessment, now I had to pay almost 1100 more dollars,” Brady said.

The two million dollars special assessment project to fund hikes nearly 200 Blue Water Resort resident’s monthly fee to support a third phase construction project and support an eight-year debt recovery project following a loan the condo took out in 2012.

No mention of any project phases or payments was addressed in signing documents or contracts. Now, Brady and new residents packing their belongings and heading to the street.

“It was revealed in January of 2019 that there were all of these significant problems with the property. The resort was cited by the city for falling concrete and knew major renovations were coming, but I knew nothing about any of this, Brady said.

However the problems and need for renovations were not brought to her attention until several months as a resident.

It’s a rare situation expected to only become more frequent in the competitive market putting potential buyers at risk if they don’t ask the right questions to uncovering property issues.

“Most realtors should ask and upload into their listing two years of the budgets of the HOA and two years of the minutes of the prospective buyer can investigate that prior to making an offer on a unit,” Corbett tells News13.

Important questions and topics for buyers:

  • Conditions of the building
  • A two-year history of HOA minutes
  • Reserve accounts that to cover regular and anticipated maintenance
  • Review of budgets to see the complex’s financial situation and history

Once you enter into a contract:

  • Schedule home inspection (stage many contracts fall apart)
  • Title Search
  • Bring any questions or concerns to real estate attorneys or agents

Experts say what trips many buyers is the lack of research required to dig up red flags that South Carolina does not require for disclosure. Issues typically evolve from these questions and may save residents in the long haul.

“Most of these issues are discussed in those scenarios and would give rise to a question that would then be the basis for further inquiry by either the real estate agent, the buyer, or in a complex situation possibly the real estate lawyer that they have retained,”Corbett said.

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