The real estate market in most of New Jersey has been nearly unbelievably hot in recent years. In fact, according to Zillow, home prices have increased by almost 16% in the last year, making the average cost of a single-family home roughly $462,000.
If you know where to look, you may find a comparative bargain in a multi-unit building. Still, before purchasing a condo, you should look into its rules and associated fees. You also should read through any existing party wall agreements that are in place.
Restrictions on use
Party walls are those that straddle property lines, making each one have at least two separate owners. While you own your side of the wall, your neighbor likely owns his or hers. Because good fences make good neighbors, party wall agreements place restrictions on how you may use your side of the wall.
If you want to renovate your condo, the party wall agreement may limit what you can do. It may also require you to perform wall-related maintenance and repairs. This likely includes footing the bill for any work the wall needs.
Parameters for resolving disputes
It is not uncommon for party wall agreements to include instructions for resolving disputes with your neighbors. For example, your agreement may tell you whether you must go through mediation before proceeding with litigation. It also may establish timeframes for addressing wall-associated issues.
If there is no existing party wall agreement for your condo, you may have an opportunity to negotiate one before or after closing. Ultimately, though, because the agreement limits your rights as a property owner, it deserves a prize spot on your pre-closing due diligence checklist.