What is a party wall agreement, I keep seeing them listed on some of the Denver townhomes I have been looking at? And is it a big deal and is it something to be worried about?
With HOA's on the rise across the city, more and more townhomes, duplexes and attached homeowners have been trying to convert from a managed Home Owners Assocaition to a party wall agreement. The beauty of a party wall agreement is that you have a legal document that lays out how all issues that involve a common wall will be handled, without having to pay a Home Owners Association to enforce it. A lot of buyers have been trying to avoid HOA's and their ever increasing fees because unlike your mortgage payment, it is money spent each month that you will never get back. So by having a party wall agreement, you avoid these costs and still have a legal document to protect your interests.
So what are the drawbacks of a party wall agreement? Mostly, you don't have a third party to enforce any issues that arise, leaving you to handle the issues on your own. In addition, you may have to be more responsible for lawn care and yearly maintenance on your building. The question then is if it makes more sense for you to pay someone to handle these items, or if saving the money and doing it yourself is better for your budget and lifestyle.
Either way, party wall agreements offer a perfect HOA alternative for the right buyers. I have a feeling we will be seeing more pop up in the future, so make sure to ask your agent if it is something you want to look into further.