In one of my high school English classes, I was taught the difference between “denotative” and “connotative” definitions of words. Let’s use the word “pig” as our example. The denotative definition of pig is its actual definition: a four-legged creature from which we obtain, among other things, that food of the gods we know as bacon. The connotative definition is broader and relates to what the word evokes by way of feeling or image. For example, “pig” could evoke an image of someone who eats too much or has horrible housekeeping habits (two people with whom you might be reticent to share your bacon). In other words, it’s sort of like fact (denotative) versus feeling (connotative).
The word “condo” evokes all sorts of different images and opinions depending on the person and her/his walk of life. To some, the word calls to mind a place where a single guy with a cheesy mustache lives with sports memorabilia and questionable art on the walls where he holds weekend parties for similarly minded cheesy mustache guys and women who like that sort of thing. To others, a condo evokes memories of a beachside retreat where your neighbors go and have invited you for a weekend where your son got stung by a jellyfish and your daughter got a raging sunburn. And to many of us in the real estate/mortgage world, “condo” means a lot of not-so-pleasant things that are less preferable than walking on broken glass, drinking bleach, or pouring lemon juice into an open wound. We’ll come back to this.
Available inventory is already at low levels, which is making it very hard for people to buy a home, especially their first one. Add to that the fact building materials are more scarce (read: getting more expensive) because of the recent hurricanes and their devastation, you’re facing a reality that a traditional single-family residence is becoming harder to obtain. Now is a very good time to look at condos. For those of you who are already well versed in how to navigate a condo sale, you can either stop reading here with the new-found knowledge of the difference between a denotative and connotative definition (you’re welcome) or stick around because I have good news for you. For those of you who just felt physically ill at my pronouncement, I promise the same good news for you, too. And for those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about concerning the pitfalls of condo sales, stick with me here and continue your life of ignorance and bliss.
As I mentioned earlier, many find the selling and financing of a condo to be below a tonsillectomy on the fun scale, and there’s good reason for that: there seems to be an endless number of boxes that have to be checked and certifications cleared to close the transaction. While that’s still true for some condos, what would you do if your lender could provide you with a list of properties that are already approved and don’t have to go through that long and laborious box-checking process? Suddenly, in my opinion, it would make selling a $230,000 condo just as attractive as selling a $230,000 single-family residence (which may or may not exist in an area where your client would want to live). And in case you missed my less-than-subtle hint, we CAN provide such a list and package. One more point in the case for condos: the fastest-growing demographic in home sales is single women – they’re outpacing single men by almost 2 to 1 in home purchases – and these same women are showing a preference for a condo over a single-family residence. That will definitely improve those mustache-heavy parties, right?