Boston Condominium Conversion Attorney
At the Law Office of Joseph A. Lopisi in Cambridge, I provide experienced legal representation for individuals and businesses throughout Massachusetts and the Greater Boston metro area including, but not limited to, Middlesex, Suffolk, Essex and Norfolk Counties regarding the conversion of your currently owned multi-unit home or your decision to purchase a multi-unit building for purposes of condominium conversion and the sale of the units.
My firm provides cost-effective service and excellent representation to real estate developers and property owners, as well as lenders. Contact me today to discuss how I can serve your interests in a condominium conversion in a free initial consultation.
My fee for converting your two-family or three-family house, including Unit Deeds and 6 D Certificates for each unit, will be $2,500, and my fee for converting your four-family house will be $3,000. Please call me for a quote regarding larger conversions. This legal fee does not include my representation of the seller in the sale of the condominium units. Relative to my representation of the seller regarding the sale of the units, I offer a flat fee of $750 to represent the Seller from the Offer stage through the closing, which I will attend.
The Master Deed Floor Plans for a two, three, or four family houses will cost between $1,800 and $2,500. The Site Plan will cost approximately $1350. The recording fees for the condominium documents will cost approximately $500.
The Condo Conversion Process
The condominium conversion process requires the efforts of an attorney, an engineer or land surveyor, and an architect. As your attorney, I will prepare a Master Deed, Declaration of Trust, and Bylaws. The Master Deed, when recorded at the Registry of Deeds, will legally create the condominium.
I will obtain sufficient information specific to your condominium conversion project so that I will be able to generate an initial draft set of condominium documents that you will be able to use immediately for the purpose of marketing the units for sale.
Before finalizing the condominium documents, the architect will take measurements of the interior of each unit to be created, the basement, entry hallways and stairways and any other shared common areas. These plans will also show any exclusive right to use areas that go with each unit. Once I obtain a first draft of these plans, I will then be able to finalize for recording the condominium documents in order to legally create the condominium.
In addition, the engineer or land surveyor will prepare a plan of the lot showing where the house sits on the lot including any driveway and garage. This Site Plan will show shared common use areas and any exclusive right to use areas that belong to any of the units. These exclusive right-to-use areas often include parking spaces, a garage, and back yards.
The Master Deed will specify what is considered common area and the boundaries of each unit. It will also specify the rights and obligations of the unit owners, including the exclusive right to use areas for each unit. These exclusive right-to-use areas often include a storage area in the basement, front or rear porches, and a parking space outside.
The Declaration of Trust and Bylaws will create the condominium association, which will manage the day-to-day running of the condominium. The condo association will have its own bank account into which each unit’s monthly fees will be deposited. From this account, the association will pay all of the common expenses relative to the maintenance, repair, and upkeep of the common areas. These common expenses will usually include the condominium insurance premium, common water and sewer bill, and general maintenance and landscaping expenses for the common areas, which include the structural elements of the building. The unit owners may also decide to include in the monthly condominium fee an amount to be assigned to a capital reserve fund. This capital reserve fund will then be available to pay for capital improvements and repairs that may be required in the future.
All condominium associations must have a master insurance policy covering the common areas and certain installed portions of each unit. Unit owners can purchase content policies if they wish to cover their furnishings and personal possessions. In order to ensure that mortgage lenders will accept the master insurance, the policy must include public liability coverage of at least $1,000,000.00. You can get more details about these policies from your insurance agent.
If your property is encumbered by one or more mortgages, you will need to get the approval of these lenders in order to submit your property to condominium status. This step will be unnecessary if you are able to pay off the mortgages when you sell the first unit. If the initial sale (or sales occurring simultaneously) will not result in your ability to satisfy the balance of any mortgages encumbering your property, you may be able to secure a Subordination Agreement from your lender and a Partial Release of the mortgage as each unit is sold.
The Subordination Agreement, which is recorded at the Registry of Deeds, acts as an acknowledgment and approval from your lender to your creation of the condominium and is necessary to prevent the condominium from being terminated in the case of foreclosure of your underlying mortgage(s). The Partial Release removes the mortgage lien from each unit as a portion of the mortgage is satisfied. I will assist you with this step and will draft the documents for your lender.
Contact an Experienced attorney to Guide You in Your Condo Conversion
I highly advise that you speak with a knowledgeable attorney regarding the appropriate steps to take to ensure your condo conversion or real estate development project is properly completed. If you have any questions regarding this process, or feel that you may benefit from the services of an experienced real estate attorney, please contact me to see how I may be of assistance.