Robert Darrow
Keller Williams Realty Professionals

What's the difference between a co-op and a condo?

A frequent question from buyers is about condominiums and co-operative apartments.   What's the difference between a condo and a co-op?   Check out the video below for a great explanation.


It's not just YOU that has to qualify for a mortgage. Your HOUSE does too!

This has become an interesting topic lately here in the South Florida area as customers have learned very well that they need to get themselves pre-approved so that THEY can qualify for a new home mortgage. But did you know that eventually the HOME will also need to qualify?

There are many loans that require the property to qualify for the mortgage as well. This goes beyond the basic qualification that many buyers are familiar with - the appraisal. In case you're unfamiliar with this concept, the idea is that the appraisal has to be equal to - or more than - the contract price of the home. Your lender doesn't want you to be getting a mortgage on a house that might not be worth as much as the contract price.

But there are more! If you are getting a conventional mortgage, the home will need to have a minimum of a functioning kitchen and bathrooms. So if the kitchen is missing appliances or the bathrooms are missing any fixtures, then the home may not qualify for the mortgage.

If you are getting an FHA or other low-down-payment type of mortgage, then the lender may require that the home not need any major repairs! The home will need to have a roof in good condition, fully functioning heat and air-conditioning, and the exterior will need to be weather-proof and in good condition. Again, if these are not in good repair it is possible that the lender will not approve the home for your mortgage.

In order to navigate this complicated issue, you would be wise to have a trusted agent working for you. If you have questions on this topic, please reach out! Contact me on the web here:

Ten Hidden Hazards When Buying Foreclosures

Why do some homes still show up on the national websites, but when I call about the house, I'm told the house is actually sold?

This is a very common question! Most Multiple Listing Services (MLS's) have several statuses for listings during different stages of the contract process. A property that has just received a contract on it may have several contingencies that are open such as financing, inspection, attorney review of the contract, review of condominium documents, and a myriad of other contingencies.

Most MLS's are designed to properly give notice to other Realtors in their market area as to the status of the property and any contracts, and the reporting to other websites like is a secondary function. And very often, this early contingency period is considered an "active" status - meaning that another buyer could, possibly, submit a better offer, with fewer contingencies.

This really depends on the customs in your market area, but can be challenging and rare. This is why it is possible to see homes here on that may have contracts on them already.

As the contingencies are satisfied, the property is said to "go PENDING" - meaning that the contingencies are satisfied, and everyone is simply waiting for the property to close (the sale to be finalized.) Most MLS's consider a PENDING status to be a non-active status, and in this case, the property will stop showing up on the website and in search results.

If this is a problem that you are experiencing on a regular basis because you're in a "hot" market and properties are going off market, you should ask your real estate professional to set up a search from directly within your local MLS so you have access to the most up-to-date property information available. Contact me if you would like me to do this for you.

On a foreclosed home, will I pay the full price? Or will I pay the mortgage balance?

Typically you will pay the price that represents the "fair market value" for the home. Perhaps this will be a little bit less than the current list price for the property? Perhaps a little more.

Each house that has been foreclosed on is treated a little differently. Many factors can influence what the asking price for the home is. Some homes are well taken care of. In this case, the lender might list the house with a local Realtor for a full market asking price.

If the house was in poor condition, perhaps because of neglect, or perhaps because the old owner destroyed it by removing appliances, fixtures, and other finish materials, the lender might decide to sell the property "wholesale" to an investor/flipper who will take the property at a discount.

Some homes are marketed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac if the original loan was guaranteed by one of those agencies. Many Fannie Mae homes are in quite good condition - check out the website for Fannie Mae Homepath Homes. Do a Google search for Homepath Homes.

And of course we should not forget that it is just as likely that the old loan could have been for much MORE than the current asking price. In that case, you wouldn't even want to buy the home for the old mortgage balance. So you can see that in most cases, homes that you see on the market are close to what would be "fair market value" for the home.

Of course there are many more factors to consider so I hope you find a trusted resource to guide you through the many different situations you may encounter.