Real Estate: Reading the Fine Print Before You Commit

by Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFA

Reading the Fine Print Before You Commit

After December’s holiday festivities, January can feel like a dreary, lonely month. So you can imagine how delighted I was when I picked up the mail the other week and found an invitation to a cocktail party at an old college friend’s place. The invite promised delicious hors d’oeuvres and divine views, and my friend kept her promise. The condo was modern, light, spacious, and equipped with all the newest luxuries.

When I asked my friend how she had gotten her hands on such an amazing place, she laughed and told me getting her hands on it had been easy – getting rid of it was the challenge. Apparently, last October, one of the women on her floor had run into financial difficulties and therefore wanted to sell her condo. Unfortunately, it turned out that the contract had a clause prohibiting residents from selling their condos until all the units had sold. And the building, despite the marble counters and commercial dog driers, was only 33% occupied.

The Dalai Lama once said “leave your mistakes behind, but never the lesson.” So here you go. In the era of sign-on-the-dotted-line and inch-thick stacks of contracts, you really do need to read the fine print – or, even better, go over it with a legal professional.


Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFA

Stacy Francis is the Founder, CEO and President of Francis Financial, Inc., a Wealth Management and Financial Planning firm. With over 18 years of experience in the financial industry, she is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®), a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™ (CDFA™), and a Certified Estate Planning Specialist (CES™). She is the Co-Director of the Association of Divorce Financial Planners’ (ADFP) Greater New York Metro Chapter and a member of the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO) and an honoree member of the Private Risk Management Association (PRMA). A nationally recognized financial expert, Stacy has appeared on ABC News, CNBC, CNN, PBS Nightly Business Report, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Fine Living Network, and The O’Reilly Factor. Stacy attended the New York University Center for Finance, Law and Taxation.