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Can you live with a home that has a party wall?

The average price of a detached home in the Sunshine State now sits at nearly $460,000. According to Redfin, this figure represents a 48.1% increase in home prices in just a single year. While there are some indications Florida’s sizzling real estate market may be starting to cool, purchasing a home may seem more like a pipe dream than a reality.

If you are looking for a bargain or simply to pay less than $460,000, you may want to expand your search to include condos, rowhouses and other residences in multi-unit buildings. Before closing on your new home, though, you should know a thing or two about party walls and the agreements that control them.

Party walls

Even though it has a fun and festive name, a party wall serves some important functions. This wall, which sits on top of the property line between your home and your neighbor’s place may provide structural support, help to deaden sounds or just show you where your property ends.

Party wall agreements

As you may suspect, shared walls can be sources of contention between neighbors. To set realistic expectations for everyone, party wall agreements outline all owners’ rights and responsibilities as they relate to the wall. For example, your party wall agreement may prohibit you from moving or otherwise modifying the wall. It also may require you to pay for wall-related maintenance and repairs.

Because you may not be able to modify the party wall agreement in the future, you should know what it says before you purchase your home. Ultimately, having an attorney take a look at the agreement prior to closing may help you know whether you can live with it.

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