Friday, June 29, 2012

I just sold a cooperative home in GHI. Are you familiar with Co-ops?

Many people are not aware that there are cooperative homes in Maryland. That is because there aren't too many as of this blog. The one above, which I just sold, is located in Prince George's County, specifically Greenbelt, Maryland. Many refer to the community as GHI. It is a nice community with many local amenities, including community pool, houses of worship, a library, shopping center and local business offices. If you commute to work, the GHI community is very near both the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and I-495. There is a train stop not too far away, just off of Kenilworth Ave/Route 201. University of Maryland, College Park is also close by. By the way, even if you do not have a car or your car is in the repair shop, there is currently a public bus that goes through the community. One of the unique aspects of co-ops is that you own a share rather than owning real property. So, currently, if your first "home" is in the GHI (or another local cooperative), you will still be eligible for first time Maryland home buyer benefits if and when the time comes for you to purchase a "real property"---a single family home, townhome or condominium. Condominiums and townhomes are "real properties", so if either one is the first Maryland home you purchased, you are eligible for the first time home buyer benefits at that point in time. Many cooperative communities have strict residential guidelines. Currently, in GHI, an owner must occupy his or her home. When one moves away (and either rents or purchases another home), one currently cannot rent his/her home out and keep it as an investment property. Some people consider it a benefit if most or the entire community is comprised of primary residents. From a mortgage standpoint, there are loan programs which can only be used based on a certain minimum ratio of primary residents to investors. So, one benefit of GHI is that there are many loan programs available to home buyers, although GHI only allows certain lenders to underwrite loans for its community. Another unique aspect of GHI, which I see as particularly advantageous for home buyers is the actual sales process! Home sellers must get a pre home sale inspection through GHI, address all the repair items which GHI comes up and have GHI come back for a second inspection to make sure that all the original inspection items were resolved and that no new inspection items come up. If new issues come up, then the seller must also take care of those issues to the GHI inspector's satisfaction. GHI does not allow a sale to be completed until all the GHI inspection items are corrected. In summary, GHI takes pride in their community and making it a desirable destination for home buyers. In addition the standard home buying process, GHI also requires all buyers to go through their specific home buying counseling , if you will, to make sure buyers understand how the community operates and to get pre-approved for a loan by one of the GHI approved lenders. Buyers also have to be approved by the co-op's board of directors before purchasing their home in GHI (as is the case in other co-op communities). So, the intentions of this blog are to introduce and familiarize you with cooperative homes and to specifically introduce you to GHI, as I just sold a home there. There is a lot to learn about co-ops in general and specifically about GHI. So, I encourage you to read more, ask me questions and let’s get together to discuss the market. I will say that purchasing a co-op, like single family homes, condominiums and townhomes takes a lot of time, diligence and attention to detail. However, there are very unique aspects in the sale of a co-op, which I think a person can only understand up front if he or she has previously purchased a co-op or if he or she is a realtor. Many of us have people we confide in on important matters, like buying a home or buying a car. We want to talk with them about their experiences and things to look out for. The key, with GHI and other cooperative communities, to me, is that these people have firsthand knowledge and experience to draw on. If you or yours is considering moving into a cooperative home, a condominium community, townhome or single family home, it would be my pleasure to get together to discuss the market, your wants and needs and to begin the home sale process. I appreciate and always have time for your referrals. The above information deemed to be accurate but not guaranteed Thank you, Adam Call: (301)943-4370 Adam Bashein Licensed in MD & DC Weichert Realtors (301)718-4100 - ask for adam

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