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What should you know before buying a house with a party wall?

On Behalf of | Jun 2, 2022 | Real Estate Law |

The St. Cloud, Albany and surrounding area housing market remains both hot and expensive. In fact, according to Redfin, the average cost of a home has increased by roughly 12.6% in the last year alone. If you want to buy a house, you can plan to fork over $224,000 or more.

Because of the comparatively high cost of a single-family home in the area, you may be looking for a bargain. Purchasing a residence in a condo, townhouse, rowhome or another multi-unit building may help turn your homeownership dreams into reality.

Homes with party walls

Despite their festive name, party walls perform some serious functions. These walls, which typically straddle the property line between two residences, often offer structural support, prevent fires from spreading and deafen unwanted noise.

They also usually have two separate owners. While you own one side of the wall, your neighbor owns the other side.

The interests of both owners

Obviously, both owners of the party wall have a keen interest in maintaining the wall. This may require completing necessary repairs or even rebuilding damaged portions. After all, if the wall falls into disrepair, both owners may see a sharp decline in property value.

Party wall agreements

Most existing party walls already have party wall agreements. These agreements describe each owner’s rights and responsibilities with regard to the wall. Your agreement also may limit your renovation options or tell you how you must resolve disputes with your neighbor.

Before you close on a home that has a party wall, it is advisable to read through the entire party wall agreement. Ultimately, if you want to change the agreement in some way, your best opportunity may come before you finalize the purchase.