: views from the Hill

Sunday, March 04, 2007

TICs and Andy Sirkin, Attorney

I'm not a huge TIC fan. I can't imagine ever buying a TIC unit. Sure, I know. TICs are usually a chunk of change cheaper than a similar condominium, but the legal squirreliness involved with TIC agreements and the funding behind them just shiver me timbers.

And yet. ... There are those who buy TICs and there are those with questions about TICs who need the straight scoop about what they're getting into.

Anyone with questions about TICs (apartment units sold to buyers who own the entire building as Tenants In Common) should not ask the agent who was showing two TICs that we went through today.

Potential buyers who didn't even know the difference between a condominium and a TIC were peppering her with questions. That agent was glossing over the drawbacks of TICs, giving misleading information about the ease of converting to condominiums, and other forked-tongue exercises. She claimed that the City limited the number of TICs that could convert to condominiums each year because the City wanted to keep rental units available and not have the City fill up with condominiums.


Well. No, I can't even say, "kinda." There is no law against renting out a condominium. A TIC doesn't have to be owner-occupied. Neither does a condominium. I don't know where the agent was getting her information, but she was blowing smoke on this and on other TIC/condo conversion matters too.

The rules about TICs and TIC conversions go far beyond what the agent was telling the naifs who were taking her word as gospel. There's a history behind the rules and regulations governing TICs and condo conversions in this fair ville and it's nothing like the gloss-over she was giving her potential buyers.

Read up on the issues swirling around TICs and then if you have questions (and you should), head over to Andy Sirkin, Attorney's site. Sirkin is the guy who wrote the book (and the agreements) and is the go-to guy for TICs.

Don't rely on the word-of-mouth not-legally-binding schmooze from a real estate agent trying to sell a TIC. Get your information straight from Sirkin, no frills, no trussssssssst me, no BS.

... and before you make an offer on that TIC you have an eye on, find yourself a real estate agent other than the one selling the property to represent you in the transaction. Both real estate agents are paid by the seller, but the one representing you will have more of your interests at heart than the one representing the seller.

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