It may be easier for owners of condominiums to sell their units as the result of the move made recently by a federal task force "to maximize agreement on condominium requirements . . ."
Congress had asked the Department of Housing and Urban Development for more uniformity in legal and unwriting policies for condominium mortgages insured, guaranteed or purchased by the agencies involved in the study, namely, the Federal Housing Administration, Veterans Administration, the federally chartered Federal national Mortgage Association and Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp.
However, the main thrust of the report, will be open until April 1 for comment by the public before adoption by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, is that more uniform documents and policies will provide a broader opportuntiy for resale of the hundreds of thousands of condominium and co-operative apartments and semi-condominium town-houses and multiplex dwellings that have separate deeds of ownerships. It would also cover participation in a planned in which some of the common elements are co-owned.
In the Washington area, there are an estimated 500 condominium or planned unit development ownership situations involving more than 5,000 individual owners. And some of those owners have had difficulty in finding lenders willing to handle the resales of their units because of the work and responsibility involved in accepting the documentation involved in the ownership papers.
However, the goal of the HUD task force, which was headed by Constance Newman, former assistant HUD secretary for consumer affairs, is to provide guidelines for both new and existing condominium and owners associations and to have documents adhere to certain broadly accepted minimum regulations.
The basic impact of an agreement that will result from the action of the task force is expected to make both conventional (non-government) and FHA-VA insured or guaranteed mortgages on condominium dwellings readily accepted in the secondary mortgage markets in which FNMA (Fannie Mae) and FHLMC (Freddie mac) operate, acceptance that would bring more funds into the home loan marketplace.
Commenting on the proposals, C. James Dowden, executive of the Community Associations Institute, which works with associations of condominium and PUD owners, said that departed HUD Secretary Carla A. Hills and Newman "have provided a real service in getting action on this long-awaited study."
The task force was organized in August, 1975, but Dowden said that it was limping along until Hills was made aware of the problems in refinancing and resales of condominium units."And then when Ms. Newman replaced the original chairman of the task force, things began to get done," he added.
While condominium owners will tend to benefit by adherence of condo associatoon documents that are readily accepted by a broad ranage of lenders when units are resold, Dowden also sees other results of the new guidelines.
"No longer will some of the traditional language from the old co-operative documents be acceptable - such as the 'right of first refusal' by the association of owners. This is a step that get rid of that possible means of discrimination by owners acting as an association," Dowden said.