Monday, February 28, 2011

Condo deals die in shadows of financially distressed buildings

It's not just the borrower who has to be up to snuff, it's the building, too, and in the Chicago area there are plenty of buildings that lenders won't touch.

Among the deal killers: too many renters in a building, pending litigation, inadequate association reserves and delinquent assessments. Those are some of the criteria lenders must look at in order to sell the loan to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, the troubled, government-sponsored entities, and the Federal Housing Administration, the first choice for many first-time homebuyers. Combined, the three agencies account for about 90 percent of the secondary loan market.

But the problem is not that the GSE's won't buy or insure the loan. The problem is that developments like this are in trouble, and the lenders know it, and the buyers should have sense enough to realize that, but they want to buy anyway. Who in his or her right mind would buy a condo unit in a building that has no reserves?

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