Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wall Street Home Resale Fees A.K.A. Private Transfer Fees

Home buyers and sellers should be aware of a legal instrument, called Wall Street Home Resale Fees (also known as Private Transfer Fees).

Municipalities have long used similar fees, called transfer taxes, to raise revenues or recoup public subsidies for private development projects, but private transfer fees are relatively new.

Private Transfer Fees are for-profit covenants that require homeowners to pay a premium for the right to sell their property.  These fees are typically placed on properties by developers and often go unnoticed by unsuspecting homebuyers.

Private Transfer Fees are inserted into home sale contracts by private third parties, and require that every time a home is sold for the next 99 years, a percentage of the sale of the home (usually 1%) be paid to the third party.  In return, homeowners receive nothing but reduced home equity and a harder time selling their home.

Traditional covenants have an accepted and beneficial role in the housing market by benefitting the land. Resale fees levied by homeowners' and condo associations direct money back towards homeowners in the form of infrastructure and amenity improvements. 
This is what differentiates them from the private, for-profit transfer fee.

So you are probably wondering why our regulating government would let such a thing happen. Well, rest assured it's being faught. Check out all the states with laws against it, including Minnesota!

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