When we first got this listing, I could not believe my eyes! Why would anyone in their right mind pay $721 per month for condo fees? Could the historic condo’s location be to blame? Or possibly the people who lived in it previously?

I had no choice but investigate this “irrational” fee, because I certainly would have to explain it to any potential buyer.

I found the answer, when I talked to one of the board members of the condo association.

Talking to neighbors is an important part of your due diligence. Always talk to them before you buy a house!

Why This Condo?

Before I explain the huge condo fees, let me tell you why this condominium is truly special. It is located on Broad Street just across from Franklin Park, one of the most popular urban parks in Columbus.

Franklin Park is home of the Franklin Park Conservatory, a huge, Victorian palm house that features many kinds of tropical plants and a permanent butterfly exhibit. In 1992 Franklin Park hosted Ameriflora 92,  the first international floral and garden exhibition in the United States, to celebrate the 400 year anniversary of the discovery of America by Columbus.

The park also offers community gardens. City dwellers and local businesses can lease a small plot of land to plant their own vegetable or herb garden. The Conservatory is a popular place for weddings and business events.

Historical brick mansions almost completely surround Franklin Park

Our featured condo fits right in. This condominium development has been placed in the National Register of Historic Places. It was the first condo development in Central Ohio and consists of 17, town-house style units between Broad and Long Streets, along Brunson Avenue.

It’s just a 5 minute walk to Bexley and short bus-ride straight into Downtown Columbus.

HUD is an Option

The condo I have listed for sale is an end unit and owned by HUD. It has been on the market for almost a year, without any offers. It appears that the previous listing agent did not try very hard to sell this property.

For just $106K it is certainly a great deal. You probably can get it much cheaper if a home has been on the market for such a long time because HUD has a high motive for similar properties.

The property is in very good condition. Floors, kitchen, walls, electric, furnace and A/C have all been upgraded by the previous owner a few years ago. The windows are functional, but old, and probably should be replaced. Due to the fact that it’s a historic condo, you won’t be able to use cheap vinyl windows.

So, why is this historic condo fee so incredibly high?

I am sure you don’t know of any other historic condos in Columbus with such a high monthly fee.

The answer is simple: the real condo fee is around $321 per month and covers landscaping, snow removal, as well as water and sewer charges.

The remaining $400 cover a temporary assessment, which pays for the new slate roof, as well as new copper gutters and downspouts that were installed a few years ago. Essentially, you pay back a loan that covered these improvements.

I just 5 years you can pay off the assessment. Then your monthly payment will drop to $321.

What do you really pay for this condo?

The total value of the assessment is approximately $24,000. That’s means you pay $400 per month for 5 years.

This means your real purchase price is $130,000.

Although the FHA insures the condo, you may run into difficulties with bank financing.

Your lender will add the $721 condo fee to your monthly mortgage payment before they can qualify you for a loan.

If you finance $106,000 at a 5% interest rate, your monthly payment on a 30-year mortgage would be $570. If you add the condo fees to your monthly payment, however, you would have to qualify for a loan amount of $240,000!

Considering its superb location, size and unique character, I believe this condo is a good value for an investor or an owner occupant that can pay cash and has enough money to replace the windows.

Call me at 975-9650 to discuss a bidding strategy that will ensure that you get this exclusive Columbus condo at the best price possible.