House Closing, Business Renting, Townhouse
Row of town houses


Dear David,
Our friends just heard that the buyer of their home may not be able to close next week. Our home sale is closing in 60 days and we’re worried that the same thing might happen to us. –Losing Sleep

DEAR SLEEP: First of all, I urge you not to let worry get the best of you. While this happens very rarely, it’s an unusual situation and not something that should keep you up at night.

That said, your friends may have caught a stroke of bad luck and there are two steps they need to take right away: First, they need to talk to their bank about an alternate form of financing that will let them close on the home they have purchased whether or not their buyer closes (not breaching their own Purchase Agreement is the top priority). Second, they need to get their current home back on the market as soon as they get the go-ahead from their lawyer. Most properties that are correctly priced sell in a short period of time, and they need to get their home resold in short order.

Although there could be legal ramifications down the road if your friend’s buyer fails to close, these would be a future concern and not an immediate priority. For your own peace of mind, I suggest connecting with your Realtor, who can touch base with your own buyer’s agent to ensure the sale of your home is progressing to close as expected.

Dear David,
We are thinking about renting space for our new business and there are a few terms we haven’t heard before. What is TMI and CAM? – Just Wondering

DEAR JW: You’ll often hear these two terms used interchangeably; both are costs that the tenant pays in addition to their base rent and both are adjusted annually.
TMI stands for “Taxes, Maintenance and Insurance”, which includes property taxes, maintenance work and the Landlord’s cost of insuring the building and property. These expenses are billed to the landlord, who then divides them among the tenants. CAM is the “Maintenance” portion of TMI. The acronym stands for “Common Area Maintenance”, which allows the landlord to keep common areas of the building in good repair. CAM expenses include such things as landscaping, snow ploughing and parking lot repair.

Dear David,
We are looking at a townhouse that we were told was freehold, but it has a $90/month condo fee. What’s the deal with that? — Surprised

DEAR SURPRISED: Certain types of “freehold” townhouses do carry condo fees, which generally cover common elements. Common elements are the parts of the property that belong to all owners (often everything but the units themselves) and are generally maintained by the condo corporation. Common elements can include lawns, playgrounds and driveways, among other things. Getting all of the information is important, as there are many different types of condos.