If you have been looking for your first or next home, you probably know how difficult it is to compete in today’s red-hot housing market. Indeed, according to Realtor.com, the average price of single-family homes in the Dallas area has climbed by more than 15% during the last year alone.
The cost of detached houses might put your dream home out of reach. Still, it is often possible to find a comparative bargain by looking for attached dwellings, like row houses or condos. If you purchase one of these, though, you are going to have to know a thing or two about party wall agreements.
What is a party wall agreement?
Attached houses often have party walls. These are the walls, fences or barriers that separate one individually owned unit from the next. Because party walls separate properties, they also usually have at least two owners.
A party wall agreement is a legally binding contract that controls what you can and cannot do with your party wall. It also might require you to make improvements or repairs to your party walls. Moreover, if you have a dispute with your neighbors, your party wall agreement may limit your options for addressing it.
Can you change a party wall agreement?
Before closing on your purchase, it is advisable to read through the party wall agreement. If you have any objections to its provisions, you might be able to negotiate modifications. Still, you are likely to need some buy-in from the other property owner or owners.
Ultimately, because your party wall agreement may be full of legalese, you might want to consider having an attorney review the agreement and alert you to any potential pitfalls before you complete your new home purchase.