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.

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