Christmas is almost here! and so is the paperwork for my review. Can't wait for 2021!
Buying in a Pandemic
My mother and great friend Jessica helped me feel more at ease after reviewing everything. Always better to have more than one set of eyes!
Thoughts on Buying in an unconventional community
I received this amazing Christmas card from the friend who introduced me to the Grove.
When ever you buy a house or condo there are lots of working parts.
This is not my first Rodeo. I am on house number 4.
This one is really different from past purchases. I have always purchased single family homes in the past.
Asbury Grove is a lot different from my previous real estate investments. Here are some things that I thought about and looked into before purchasing. Some Campgrounds, Mobile Home Parks, Co-Ops and other non-traditional housing might have similar issues. I did not need financing for my purchase but these could impact a buyer's ability to buy.
There is no formal Deed filed at the Registry of Deeds (Southern Essex) - instead it is treated more like a Camper at a campground. I bought the house via a Bill of Sale. I signed a lease for the land at Asbury Grove.
The Association Rules which are usually part of the Deed are more fluid. They are reviewed regularly by the Board of Directors.
One big mistake people make when buying in a community is not knowing the building demographics. I know that I am significantly younger that many of the summer residents. I also think although pretty devote, I am not one to chat about my relationship with Jesus and my faith. My journey is mine.
Before purchasing I wanted to understand the whole Grove and took a long walk around. I was disappointed by how many properties are in disrepair. But considering the state of the Wee 'Ouse it is clear that too many have been forgotten. One mine is cleaned up I will see what the plan is for The Grove to get these buildings back.
One thing that a lot of people don't think to check before putting an offer in on a property don't think to look at the financials for the greater property. As I said above I had my mother, who has purchased a condo in the past and is very knowledgeable on financial matters look at the information provided. I also reached out to a friend that is a licensed real estate agent in the Commonwealth to also put a second set of eyes on things. I would suggest to anyone making a home purchase that they reach out to people that are supportive and knowledgeable.
A Couple More Notes
You are buying the cottage only. As I said above it is a Bill of Sale is used, not a deed. The entire community is deeded to Asbury Grove Camp Meeting Association. This is similar to buying a mobile home in a park community.
The cottage owners have an association, the fee was $5 per year in 2021. Owners also pay a quarterly fee to the Association. This fee is based on the size of the cottage. If a cottage owner would like to change the foot print of their cottage they must submit a description to the Grounds Committee for review and once approved they must also get a building permit from the town. Changing the footprint of a cottage will impact the quarterly fees paid.
There are two sections of The Grove. There is a year round and a summer section. Cottage owners in the seasonal summer section are allowed to make changes to their cottage for 3 season use. Seasonal summer cottages do not have water from November 1st to April 15 (Weather permitting.) The roads in the summer section are not wide enough for fire and rescue to service the area in the winter. Only an outer fire lane is plowed. Because of this absolutely no one is permitted to live in the summer section year round. Cottage owners are permitted to walk the ground and check on their cottages in the winter. They may not heat them or use alternative waste and water systems in the winter.
The land under the cottages is leased from the Asbury Camp Meeting Corporation and is renewed every 5 years.
Prospective owners should be ready to allow a full background check, including your driving record, credit check and a CORI (Massachusetts Criminal Offender Record Information)