I am the seller referred to in the article caught in the consequences of this code that was changed after my condo community was built in the late 1970s. I want to present a personal side to the matter discussed in this article.
I am a 73-year-old senior citizen on a fixed income who made the decision to move to Sequim by putting my condo up for sale on Jan. 5 of this year. Because the market had been good and other units (approximately seven) had sold over the recent years with no difficulty, I figured it was a good time to do so. I had lived in Edmonds for most of my adult life and had been very happy there but decided I wanted a less stressful environment to spend the rest of my years.
A buyer was found the first of February and during the process of getting her financing and having an appraisal done, the discovery of this code change was found, which caused her bank to decline financing because of the risk involved if the building was severely damaged and this code as revised is used.
No one in my condo complex was aware of this code change that had happened years ago and, as I said, multiple units had been sold with no problem in recent years. With my sale being stopped at this point because of this discovery, I have been greatly impacted. Our closing, which was scheduled to take place on Feb. 18, has been put on hold pending this issue being resolved. I am now in a position where I am having to tap into my retirement account each month to be able to pay my mortgage, HO insurance, PUD bill and HOA dues on a condo I no longer live in. Needless to say this is putting a significant financial strain on monthly expenses considering I am also having to cover cost and expenses for my new home. Having to do this for possibly months, depending on how long it takes for this issue to be resolved, has definitely resulted in a serious emotional, financial and physical strain on me and my future.
This is a situation that has a potentially significant effect on many other seniors or families living in my complex and all the 20+ complexes identified and verified by the City of Edmonds as not conforming to this city code. Any one of those owners or a family member may need to sell a unit due to, for example; a death, need to enter assisted living facilities or nursing homes, move closer to family for needed support, move to a new job or any number of other reasons. Until this issue is resolved, they could potentially find themselves in the same situation that I am in, with any potential sale held up because of denial of financing. Like me, they are all probably totally unaware of this code existing.
Another issue for me is that because I am now aware of this code noncompliance, the chances of selling my condo if I lose this buyer is pretty unlikely. That is because now it is my responsibility to disclose the situation to a potential buyer in the future, and who is going to buy a place with this code issue hanging over its head????
As was said in this article, this situation has been known about for some time by city officials. They have not done anything to change this code to take away the uncertainty for hundreds of homeowners in those 20+ complexes affected by how it is written now. It certainly makes me realize that this could go on for months unless there is a push to come to a resolution. It seems issues like this are just passed on to someone else routinely to “look into” or “study.” It is a very slow process and those of us who are impacted are the ones that suffer the consequences of this lack of foresight on the part of the officials making this change in the code years ago.
t seems to me there is no logical reason for this to have been done. Did they not consider the consequences for the homeowners of those three or up to 17 units that cannot be rebuilt if the worst-case scenario happens in these 21+ condo communities? Did they even consider the fact that if there were to be a disaster of some sort for these condo complexes and they are told they can only rebuild X number of the units, who decides which units are not rebuilt? What about the impact for those owners who will not have a home because theirs was one not rebuilt? Why can’t the City of Edmonds grandfather these complexes built before the code change back to previous code and use the new code on buildings built after the code was changed? Seems like the right thing to do for all those individual homeowners that could lose their homes in the future because of the lack of considering the impact this would have on Edmonds communities now designated non-compliant.
Thank you for listening!