Things To Consider Before Buying a Condo Hotel or Resort Residence
Resort home ownership, such as condo hotels and fractional shares is different from typical home ownership. So it is important to ask certain questions before signing the purchase agreement on a resort property. The following list of questions typically applies to most types of resort property ownership unless otherwise noted.
Pricing and Initial Purchase
-Is the price negotiable and do you need to purchase through a certain company or representative? Who gets a commission off the sale?
Some properties have a small percentage of flexibility in price while others are basically set in stone. This will usually be determined by demand, as well as overall policy of the developer or management company. Also, if you know who stands to profit from the sale and how much, it could help you in your negotiations.
-Is the property already completed or is it in pre-construction?
This question is important because the answer will likely affect the price of the unit. Many properties in the beginning stages of development will be sold at a discount to attract buyers, but as it becomes a more certain investment or units increase in demand, the price will go up.
-If the property is in pre-construction, when will it be completed and what will the overall property look like?
You may be anxious to get into your unit or have a certain occasion in mind. If completion is two years out, you may not want to wait. Also, a property in the early stages may look great to someone who wants a small facility with a low-key, less populated atmosphere. But there may be plans for hundreds or even thousands of additional units and large clubhouses, retail areas or other features that will draw many people. If you plan to keep your property for many years, you want to be sure it will fit your needs when it is finished.
-How many other owners are there?
This question is important for those considering purchases of fractionals. The price and amount of time available each year will depend on the number of other ownership opportunities offered in the particular unit. More than eight or ten other owners will make competition for primetime more difficult.
-What type of financing is available for this type of property in general and for this specific development?
Both condo hotels and fractionals are considered timeshare properties. Even if they are viewed as a second home, the bank considers all three types of properties discussed here as a secondary obligation – one that is less important than your primary home mortgage. As a result, you may have to pay 10 or 20 % down and the rate may be higher than a traditional home loan.
Some developers offer financing, which can be helpful, but be sure you understand the details. Some may require a smaller amount down, but will ask for a large payment upon taking possession of the unit. This arrangement may be fine with you, but you don’t want any surprises.
Another financing option is to take out a second mortgage on the equity in your existing home. If you choose this route, be sure the interest rate does not make it much more expensive in the long run. Also, you need to be aware that if you use a home equity loan to finance your purchase, you have only 90 days to refinance to a regular mortgage.