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And the Winners Are…

And the Winners Are…..

We had many responses to the contest in last months’s newsletter. Below are the winners. Thanks for playing along.

Andrea H.      Jon V.      Mary H.      Russ F.      Carl R.

Each will receive a gift card from Breadsmith in Whitefish Bay.


You may not knead the information but the Q an A may save you some dough if you or someone you know is considering buying a home or condominium. Let’s review.

Question 1. Should my client purchase the condo since the siding issue has not come up before?

Answer: The correct answer is “NO”, don’t buy the condo. Some responded that if the siding was fixed, my client should buy the condo. Most agents would say buy the condo if the problem was fixed. That would mean the agent makes money, the seller makes money, and the buyer is on the hook for a big money (really big) in the future. The problem is it’s an expense for the buyer. This is explained in greater detail in # 3.

Question 2. Why might the Association have no knowledge of the problem?

Answer: The common response, the correct response was that sometimes people choose not to know (plausible deniability). I used to sit on 3 condominium boards and sometimes it’s just a bad board.

Question 3. The seller was going to have the siding problem fixed at no cost to my client. Should my client purchase the unit?

Answer: The response from the listing agent and Association – “The problem will be fixed so buy the unit,” typifies the problem with traditional real estate. Homebuyer Associates approach is to say to our client “don’t buy the unit.” Why?

The listing agent said the seller and the Association were willing to fix the siding problem. The cost for that building would have been in the area of $40,000 dollars.

When you buy a condominium you buy into an Association. In this case there are 19 buildings each containing 5 units. You pay monthly fees for ongoing maintenance and to fund the Reserve for future capital expenses.

Had our client purchased the condo with the siding repaired, she would have joined an Association that, in the future, will replace siding on the remaining 18 buildings at a cost in the area of $700,000. Each owner will contribute $9,000 – $10,000 towards the repair, adjusting for inflation.

Question 4. The condominium is back on the market. Did the agent and seller update the condition report and disclose the siding issue?

Answer: I checked yesterday and the condo sold for $164,000 and closed July 2, 2015. No mention was made of a siding problem on the seller’s condition report.  My bet would be a special assessment for all owners in the area of $10,000 sometime in the next 7 years.

Bonus Question: Tell me the name of the big man (I’m the little guy) in the photo of Part 1 of the June newsletter. Hint: He played for Marquette University when they were the Warriors.

No one got it. The player is Jerry Homan.

Someone from out of town called me last Thursday and asked, “Should I use a regular agent?” This person found my website and contacted me for information. I asked, “When you buy a car and talk to the car salesperson, do you think that person has your best interests at heart?” He knew the answer. Question answered.

I said a real estate agent is the same as a car salesperson, only instead of selling cars, real estate agents sell homes. They are good people who do their job – they sell (cars/homes) for the owner and their loyalty and agency are with the owner – not you.

I remain confused about why people know the car salesperson doesn’t work for them, but wants the real estate agent to be their best friend. Maybe it’s the real estate T.V. shows and misinformation that corrupts minds?

Think about and understand who works for whom in the real estate transaction. The wrong choice may cost you money – lots of money. Make the right choice and pick an agent who works for you. Not a part-time buyer agent but an Exclusive Buyer Agent, Homebuyer Associates.

It starts with a cup of coffee and some talk.

Thanks for reading,
Michael D. Holloway

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Homebuyer Associates
1835 N. Riverwalk Way
Milwaukee, WI 53212
Phone: 414-254-4129