What will I own?
Each home at The Courtyards at Brandywine is owned in the condominium form of ownership. This form of ownership is very common in a planned community. In condominium ownership, each home (a "Unit") consists of the lot for the home, the building and improvements thereon, and an undivided percentage ownership interest (a "pro-rata share") in the common space and the common elements. The common elements and open space are managed by a homeowners Association, which after completion of the Community will be comprised of homeowners elected to the Council of the Association. Management is typically provided by a professional, third party management company specializing in planned community management, which is responsible for day to day operations. To fund the maintenance and operation of the Community, and exterior maintenance for the homes, budgets and reserves are established, and assessments levied (generally payable on a monthly basis) to fund the monetary needs of the Community.
Living in a condominium community means your Unit and the common elements are subject to various rights of access, known as "easements," pursuant to which the staff, employees, and subcontractors of the Association have the right to perform landscaping and exterior maintenance services. Access to the interior of your Unit is possible only with your permission or in the event of an emergency threatening injury or damage to other residents or their property. Please refer to your Homeowners' Manual for more information.
What is the size of the community?
The Village of Brandywine, which includes our Courtyards at Brandywine, consists of a residential campus of approximately 42 acres located along U.S. Rt. 202, about Î© mile north of Rt. 92. Upon completion, the Community will have a total of 184 carriage homes, attached in groups of three to six homes.
Will there be a clubhouse?
Our clubhouse is the beautifully renovated historic farmhouse located to the left of the entrance to the Community. It has a large gathering room and kitchen. Residents can reserve the clubhouse for personal use. Community meetings, parties and events are also held there on a frequent basis.
May my grandchildren visit me?
Of course! The Courtyards at Brandywine permits visitors under the age of 18 to stay up to 30 days per year and does not limit daily visits.
May I own a pet?
Each home may have up to two traditional domestic pets. Any pets permitted to go outside must be controlled on a leash or held at all times. In addition, pet owners are responsible to remove solid waste immediately and dispose of it properly in their own trash receptacles. All pets should be registered with the Council and inoculated as required by Delaware law.
May I lease my unit?
Yes. The Declaration and Code of Regulations for the Community require Unit Owners to supply a copy of any lease for a Unit to the Council within ten (10) days of its execution. An administrative fee determined by the Council will be charged for the processing of the lease. Leases shall not be for a term less than one (1) year and must be for the entire Unit. We recommend that you advise the Association in advance of entering into any lease to make sure your lease complies with the latest regulations.
What is the monthly fee?
The projected monthly fee at the completion of the community is approximately $270.00 McKee does not control the Association or set the monthly fee, which is determined by the existing Council and its third party management company to ensure all reserves and operating expenses are fully provided for and funded. On an annual basis the Council will adopt a new budget for the coming operating year. Notice of the adopted budget and the new assessment rate will be provided to each Unit Owner prior to year end. At present, the Association is forming Owners' subcommittees to review budget proposals and monitor issues relating to Community property.
The capital contribution fee of $1,000 is non-refundable and non-transferable and is not applied towards your monthly payments. It serves as operating cash and helps fund reserves in order to provide a positive cash flow to the community while it is being developed.
What does the monthly fee include?
Your monthly fee covers the landscaping and snow removal of the common grounds, trash removal, insurance for the common and limited common areas of the community, management of the Association, maintenance and up keep of the exteriors of the Units and the clubhouse (please ask your Sales Counselor, or refer to Declaration, for any Unit Owner -specific responsibilities), as well as all other operating costs of the Association, including certain reserves. These costs are outlined in your detailed budget, which is included in the Homeowners' Manual for the Community and updated on an annual basis as new budgets are adopted by the Council.
How does the "Association of Owners" work?
All of the Owners of Units in The Courtyards of Brandywine constitute the "Association of Owners" and have the responsibility of administering the Condominium, collecting the contributions of the Common Expenses, and arranging for the management of the Condominium. The Association is governed by the Council, which is similar to a board of directors.
May I make changes to my home after settlement?
All structural additions, alterations or improvements to the exterior of any home must first be submitted in writing to the Council for approval and must meet all applicable building codes, zoning ordinances and other applicable laws and regulations. Generally speaking, any exterior alterations are under strict control and only certain alterations, additions or modifications will be permitted, in order to ensure the consistency of the architectural aspects of the Community.
What are the quality features in the homes?
There is a listing of included Quality Features inserted in the brochure. Please ask your McKee Sales Counselor for assistance in determining what will be included in the model you choose. High efficiency heaters and Low- E, Argon filled glass thermal insulated windows are all features designed to add to the comfort of your new home in The Courtyards at Brandywine. McKee homes in the Community will be built and certified as meeting federal "Energy Star" standards.
What will my taxes be?
The estimated annual taxes (school and county) on the base-priced home at The Courtyards at Brandywine will be approximately $3,400 to $3,800, depending on the options you select for your home. Once you are 65 years old, Delaware State law currently provides that you may apply for a tax credit that can reduce those taxes. You will receive an individual tax bill, which you must pay directly to the municipality. Your individual homes taxes are not included in your Association fee.
What are the estimated utility costs?
As energy costs rise, you will be glad to know that your new home will meet EPA's strict guidelines for energy efficiency. An independent third party inspection and testing process will ensure that your home earns the Energy Star label. McKee homes include high efficiency heating and cooling, expert insulation of attics and walls, low-E windows, and sealed and insulated ductwork to help provide comfortable even temperatures and lower energy bills. Your monthly utility bills will vary depending on how warm or cool you prefer your home to be and how much you use your appliances. McKee does not represent or warrant any actual costs you may incur for your energy consumption, which varies according to personal preferences, weather patterns and other variables. Currently, your sewer charges are estimated to be approximately $264 annually.
Does my association fee get paid by my mortgage?
Normally, mortgage servicers escrow for taxes and insurance, but do not escrow for or collect monthly condominium assessment fees. Consult with your financial institution or mortgage broker for further details.
Does the community have a website?
Yes. The community website is a secure site which is accessible after you have purchased your home and received your security information and password. From this site you can place work orders for common areas, check your account balance, contact the management office, receive updates and notices via the telephone or e-mail, and obtain information regarding the budget and finances of the Community Association.
Why do I have to fill out an age verification form?
The Association is required by federal law to verify that the occupancy of the community meets the age restriction requirements on a bi-annual basis. By purchasing your home or residing in the community you agree to the provisions of the Declaration, Code of Regulations and applicable law requiring that you complete and return the age verification forms in a timely fashion. The information contained in the forms is strictly confidential and will not be released or disclosed to any person other than as may be legally required to establish the eligibility of the Community for the age-restricted housing exemption of the Federal Housing Act.