What's a CPR?


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On Monday, I blogged about a property that is designated as a Condominium Property Regime (CPR)—it's a single-family home, but somehow able to sell as a condo. What does this mean?

In my quest to learn the definition, I found that all roads lead to realtor Abe Lee, who is Hawaii's CPR king in his peers' eyes. He has it extensively laid out on his site here, but if you're ever wondering about a property designated as a CPR, here it is in a nutshell.

Sometimes, a landowner may own a lot large enough to fit at least two houses, but can't call it a subdivision because the (geometric) shape of the property or its access isn't acceptable for such permitting. The owner might opt to create a condo project on the land instead, since there are various land size requirements to create a subdivision, but there is no minimum land area required to create a condo unit.

It's not as easy as just saying, "I'm building a condo!" —to create a condo project in Hawaii, you still need to comply with the state and county laws, which is another story in itself.

If you're not building and looking to buy a CPR home, remember that condominium ownership is described as ownership of a unit and a percentage of undivided interest in the common elements, such as the land and roadways; in a traditional condo this would also be the lobbies, hallways, and roofs. CPRs are governed by an association and usually have covenants and restrictions, so you would pay a maintenance fee and if the property is big enough, may have a management company.

It's not necessarily bad to live in a single-family home that has covenants and restrictions. Often, these rules seem strict, but they are designed to keep the property looking good and maintain its value. In a regular neighborhood, if your neighbor had a junked car out front, it would be hard to tell them to move it; under a CPR with rules, the association could force the issue. Think of it as living in a mini-Mililani.

One last caveat if you are buying a CPR: Lee advises you to carefully look at the condo documents and make sure you aren't getting into a situation where the neighbors are quarrelling or the association isn't functioning.

For more information on CPRs, visit Abe Lee's website or call his office at 808-942-4472.

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