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Old 07-12-2013, 11:03 AM
 
1,569 posts, read 3,086,498 times
Reputation: 924

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bullie62 View Post
And then there's the whole "FIX IT" campaign. MOST women, and I'm sure we hate admitting it, cannot FIX things when they break, and physical strength does come into play with this as well! Sometimes it takes a man to wrench something we can't.... so we end up having to be able to have that sort of "help" available to us, whereas "most" men can do things involving tools, by themselves.
bullie~
Does everyone know about Time Bank? You put in time and when you need something done, you use the time you banked. I keep meaning to join. I love the concept of exchanging skills. They also have potlucks and it seems like a good way to meet new people.

Definitely been frustrated trying to do tasks involving mechanical and physical labor but it doesn't stop me from finding ways to accomplish it. I have amazed myself with the things I've done by sheer determination. I'm also fortunate to have a really nice neighbor and friends who will help although I don't like asking so I limit it.

Over the last six summers I've hauled rock from the fields near my house and double dug my yard creating garden beds and drainage. I dig a while, sit, dig, sit...then lay in bed unable to turn over because I hurt.... recover...do it again. I started going to the gym this year and it's become easier...look I have muscles! I'm almost done.

I'm daunted by laying a brick patio so I started with trying to create the french drain. Still need to get the slope right. When I fret about not knowing what I'm doing I remind myself I'm getting exercise and I just keep trying. I might not have the strength of a man but I have endurance.

If my son is able to get out here between jobs he'll lay the patio for me but if he can't I'll tackle that too. Another woman friend volunteered saying she always wanted to learn how to lay a patio. I wanted a trellis screen around ugly utility wires so I went to Home Depot and tied the trellis to the top of my car. When I got home I realized some of it had broken and fallen off but I still had enough. I dug and cemented the posts (had visions of knocking myself out as they fell on my head!) Then I sawed the trellis with a hand saw and used a power drill to attach it. I love my power drill. Where the corners meet it's not perfect but the honeysuckle is covering it now.

I have to let go of perfection when I do it myself. I ask friends to help me when I can't do it alone. Many, many times I would get so frustrated knowing if my son was around he would have it done in 5 minutes whereas non-mechanical me can take hours. I don't find anything simple--I usually do it a couple of times before getting it right. But I just keep at it and the Internet is great for instructions. But nothing was a help when replacing my windshield wipers the last time. Just made no sense to me. I thought this is crazy that I can't figure out how to get the old ones off so I kept going out and trying again. I finally relented and asked my neighbor to help me. It took him 5 minutes. Next time I'll ask them to do it at the auto store!

There are always things people can't or don't want to do for themselves (men and women) so we need to learn to work together. I just finished reading the latest Barbara Kingsolver book and she writes a little in the back about the USA's obsession with independence instead of interdependence. Hmmmm...I see the Time Bank has a potluck next week....maybe it's time to check it out.

 
Old 07-12-2013, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Nowhere near Chicago
437 posts, read 556,280 times
Reputation: 385
Default retiring alone, and workin' for it... lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dancingearth View Post
Does everyone know about Time Bank? You put in time and when you need something done, you use the time you banked. I keep meaning to join. I love the concept of exchanging skills. They also have potlucks and it seems like a good way to meet new people.

Definitely been frustrated trying to do tasks involving mechanical and physical labor but it doesn't stop me from finding ways to accomplish it. I have amazed myself with the things I've done by sheer determination. I'm also fortunate to have a really nice neighbor and friends who will help although I don't like asking so I limit it.

Over the last six summers I've hauled rock from the fields near my house and double dug my yard creating garden beds and drainage. I dig a while, sit, dig, sit...then lay in bed unable to turn over because I hurt.... recover...do it again. I started going to the gym this year and it's become easier...look I have muscles! I'm almost done.

I'm daunted by laying a brick patio so I started with trying to create the french drain. Still need to get the slope right. When I fret about not knowing what I'm doing I remind myself I'm getting exercise and I just keep trying. I might not have the strength of a man but I have endurance.

If my son is able to get out here between jobs he'll lay the patio for me but if he can't I'll tackle that too. Another woman friend volunteered saying she always wanted to learn how to lay a patio. I wanted a trellis screen around ugly utility wires so I went to Home Depot and tied the trellis to the top of my car. When I got home I realized some of it had broken and fallen off but I still had enough. I dug and cemented the posts (had visions of knocking myself out as they fell on my head!) Then I sawed the trellis with a hand saw and used a power drill to attach it. I love my power drill. Where the corners meet it's not perfect but the honeysuckle is covering it now.

I have to let go of perfection when I do it myself. I ask friends to help me when I can't do it alone. Many, many times I would get so frustrated knowing if my son was around he would have it done in 5 minutes whereas non-mechanical me can take hours. I don't find anything simple--I usually do it a couple of times before getting it right. But I just keep at it and the Internet is great for instructions. But nothing was a help when replacing my windshield wipers the last time. Just made no sense to me. I thought this is crazy that I can't figure out how to get the old ones off so I kept going out and trying again. I finally relented and asked my neighbor to help me. It took him 5 minutes. Next time I'll ask them to do it at the auto store!

There are always things people can't or don't want to do for themselves (men and women) so we need to learn to work together. I just finished reading the latest Barbara Kingsolver book and she writes a little in the back about the USA's obsession with independence instead of interdependence. Hmmmm...I see the Time Bank has a potluck next week....maybe it's time to check it out.
GURRRRL....... I am amazed by you digging posts!! Even when I was in my early 40's, I had big, strong, shirtless men, lol, doing it for me. There was no way my post digging tool was gonna get through Chicago "dirt". ugh.... And now, at 51, disabled but not DOWN, I want to make sure when I can't do something, it's going to get done. Somehow. By someone. Other than me. lol

AND, I HOPE you ALL didn't read into my post that women cannot do for themselves. NOT what I said..... My thought is that there are some things a LOT of us haven't learned to do, had no one to show us, and MAYBE are in a space in time where strength or good eyesight or knowledge is needed, NOW.

Would be nice if everything could be done bit by bit. And that's not usually the case, when it's NEEDED. Gardening, taking up hobbies, learning new tasks, can be done at our own pace. Emergencies are what I'm speaking of....

I lift weights at home, when I'm not laid out with my disease. I'm not a weakling NOR an excuse maker. I am a realist. My dad never taught me nuffin', 'cause HE knew nuffin'. lol Ex hubby always hired someone. I have relied on my guy friends when not in a relationship. So NOW, I am a bit worried.

One proactive thing I've done is start a series of classes FOR WOMEN ONLY, about basic car upkeep and repair, basic plumbing emergencies, basic use of tools and what should be in everyone's tool box. And women are VERY excited about this. Too many of us haven't had the experience in any of these areas, and some have never thought it was necessary.

THAT is the point behind my post. Dancingearth, you are my hero. Kudos and bravo and a round of applause, STANDING UP!



bullie~
 
Old 07-12-2013, 06:30 PM
 
Location: Santaluz - San Diego, CA
4,485 posts, read 8,151,658 times
Reputation: 1976
PLEASE keep this thread on topic. There is no need to argue about this thread. If you choose to start another thread then feel free to do that but keep your arguments off this board. If you don't wish to participate in this thread then don't.

Those that don't abide by the rules will get an infraction which could result in getting banned from Citydata. The ban can be limited from a day up to indefinitely depending on your behavior and your ability to follow the rules.

And this response is not directed to any specific post or member. Please just keep responses on topic to the nature of this thread. No need to post any questions to this post. If you are staying on topic to this thread then this post clearly isn't applicable to you. Thanks.

Last edited by earlyretirement; 07-15-2013 at 04:36 PM..
 
Old 07-12-2013, 06:44 PM
 
Location: Nowhere near Chicago
437 posts, read 556,280 times
Reputation: 385
So what do any of you think about condos as a means for retirement? No need to fix much, no grass to cut, no trees to plant, possibly some interior work included...... and do you think the HOA dues will deplete your funds, or that the "Condo Commandos" will deplete your Spirit?



bullie~
 
Old 07-12-2013, 07:07 PM
 
Location: Santaluz - San Diego, CA
4,485 posts, read 8,151,658 times
Reputation: 1976
Quote:
Originally Posted by bullie62 View Post
So what do any of you think about condos as a means for retirement? No need to fix much, no grass to cut, no trees to plant, possibly some interior work included...... and do you think the HOA dues will deplete your funds, or that the "Condo Commandos" will deplete your Spirit?



bullie~

Hi Bullie,

I think it all depends on the condo and the development. Although I live in a SFH, I mostly own condos and some are VERY well managed and some are HORRIBLY managed. Obviously the ones that are well managed are very desirable in retirement because fees are limited and buildings that are taken cared for and maintained can be really great.

The best thing is to take a detailed look at the expense statement and also ask for past statements so you can evaluable what the HOA fees include. As well, several states have a law where they make it mandatory to make available the financial condition and financial statements each year to the owners. You should be able to see these as well to get a picture of how well it might be managed.

I think the best thing is talking to the doorman in the building as well as any fellow owners in the building if possible. And ask about any upcoming potential assessments or capital improvements that need to be made.

Also, look at buildings that have things that you may or may not use. Some of the condos I own, have tons of amenities like pools, gyms, observatory decks on the roof, sauna/spa, 24/7 security and doormen around the clock, etc. Some of these types of buildings have high HOA fees.

While other condos I have don't have any amenities and they are very low. So I think you have to really take a good look what amenities you would or wouldn't use.

We definitely will keep our primary house even after the kids leave the house and we are empty nesters but we'll most likely rent it out and stay in a condo that we own for much of the year. Condos are really easy because you don't have to do anything and all the maintenance and landscaping is all done by the building. But it can be a nightmare if the building is not managed well.

I think it all depends on the specific building.
 
Old 07-12-2013, 07:29 PM
 
Location: Nowhere near Chicago
437 posts, read 556,280 times
Reputation: 385
Quote:
Originally Posted by earlyretirement View Post
Hi Bullie,

I think it all depends on the condo and the development. Although I live in a SFH, I mostly own condos and some are VERY well managed and some are HORRIBLY managed. Obviously the ones that are well managed are very desirable in retirement because fees are limited and buildings that are taken cared for and maintained can be really great.

The best thing is to take a detailed look at the expense statement and also ask for past statements so you can evaluable what the HOA fees include. As well, several states have a law where they make it mandatory to make available the financial condition and financial statements each year to the owners. You should be able to see these as well to get a picture of how well it might be managed.

I think the best thing is talking to the doorman in the building as well as any fellow owners in the building if possible. And ask about any upcoming potential assessments or capital improvements that need to be made.

Also, look at buildings that have things that you may or may not use. Some of the condos I own, have tons of amenities like pools, gyms, observatory decks on the roof, sauna/spa, 24/7 security and doormen around the clock, etc. Some of these types of buildings have high HOA fees.

While other condos I have don't have any amenities and they are very low. So I think you have to really take a good look what amenities you would or wouldn't use.

We definitely will keep our primary house even after the kids leave the house and we are empty nesters but we'll most likely rent it out and stay in a condo that we own for much of the year. Condos are really easy because you don't have to do anything and all the maintenance and landscaping is all done by the building. But it can be a nightmare if the building is not managed well.

I think it all depends on the specific building.
Ain't THAT the truth! *last sentence, and all before*

Having lived in S. Florida, way back in the late 80's.... in Pompano Beach, I saw all I needed to know, THEN, about condo boards. SKEERY!

And so as a woman on a very fixed income, and in great need of having someone available to her, if something breaks/goes wrong, your information is very valuable.

I had no idea we could ask for the financial records.

*A friend in Chicago owned a condo on Lake Shore Drive. She was assessed... get this.... it's gonna be sickening.... $30,000 for repairs to the building. Payable IMMEDIATELY.

Now... she's a doctor, but who has that kind of money, sitting around, waiting to be thrown to an association?? She sold her place, instantly, and she and her family moved.... with great sadness.

I can't afford to do that, so the information about asking for particulars is INCREDIBLY handy!



bullie~
 
Old 07-12-2013, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Santaluz - San Diego, CA
4,485 posts, read 8,151,658 times
Reputation: 1976
Quote:
Originally Posted by bullie62 View Post
Ain't THAT the truth! *last sentence, and all before*

Having lived in S. Florida, way back in the late 80's.... in Pompano Beach, I saw all I needed to know, THEN, about condo boards. SKEERY!

And so as a woman on a very fixed income, and in great need of having someone available to her, if something breaks/goes wrong, your information is very valuable.

I had no idea we could ask for the financial records.

*A friend in Chicago owned a condo on Lake Shore Drive. She was assessed... get this.... it's gonna be sickening.... $30,000 for repairs to the building. Payable IMMEDIATELY.

Now... she's a doctor, but who has that kind of money, sitting around, waiting to be thrown to an association?? She sold her place, instantly, and she and her family moved.... with great sadness.

I can't afford to do that, so the information about asking for particulars is INCREDIBLY handy!



bullie~
Oh yes, definitely ask for the past annual financial statements. I've always been able to get these. In some states they are more difficult to get but ask your realtor to get involved and help. If they want to make a commission I typically make them work for it! LOL.

Not only have I gotten past financial statements but sometimes in some states it's also possible to get minutes and records from the past several months HOA meetings. So see if you can get your hands on this as well. Specifically ask your realtor to ask about possible or planned assessments. But what I've found is the most valuable to do is come back to the building on a weekend without your realtor, bring a $20/$50/$100 bill and talk to the doorman/super in the building. And ask him/her for an honest assessment of the state of things in the building. That has been the BEST investment I've made sometimes and saved me before in buying albatrosses. (A good idea is typically not just to bring cash but a nice box of chocolates or nice bottle of wine along with an envelope with some cash. Introduce yourself as a potential owner and get the real rundown).

Also, it's good while you're evaluating the financial statements to see how much of a reserve fund (if any) they have in case of any emergencies. As well, it's good to find out when the last time they had an emergency or assessment. Sometimes buildings with a history of assessments continue to have a history of assessments.

During the real estate crash I looked at some properties in Miami Beach. One bedroom properties that went for as high as $475,000 during the bubble years fell to as low as $100,000. So that tempted me until I saw that their HOA fees were $900/month! It was crazy in some of these buildings with no real amenities besides a pool and nothing really included and the building in not the best of shape. NO THANKS.

I don't think single family homes are a bad idea if you can comfortably afford it and it's manageable. Again, it just depends on each specific property/development. Where I live now, I pay $435/month in HOA dues. And it's VERY well maintained and the HOA fees have gone down two years in a row. (So that is another sign to see the history of the HOA dues if it's gone up or down over the years). The well run HOA's you will actually see it go down sometimes which is great! To be honest, this is the first time I've owned a property where my HOA fees went down 2 years in a row. (And of course many, many houses don't have any HOA fees at all).

Here the HOA fees include guard gated security 24/7, immaculately maintaining the entire development which is 38,000 acres. It includes weekly garbage pick up, as well as high speed Internet (25 MB speeds) as well as digital cable. So I think it's a fabulous deal compared to some condos I have that have higher HOA fees!

But in condos it's all over the place depending on the unit. Take a look at the financials or have someone that knows a thing or two about financials and they can help you look at the annual report from the HOA as well as a monthly breakdown of what the actual expenses are.

I look at that in detail when I'm buying. I look to see what the default rates are like from other owners and if people are up to date or not and why? I see what is included and what the expenses are. For example, sometimes I found a property I loved but the HOA fees were really high only to find out the doorman has an extremely high salary. So I'd look at all of those things which can give you great insight how the building is run.
 
Old 07-12-2013, 08:23 PM
 
Location: Nowhere near Chicago
437 posts, read 556,280 times
Reputation: 385
Quote:
Originally Posted by earlyretirement View Post
I don't think single family homes are a bad idea if you can comfortably afford it and it's manageable. Again, it just depends on each specific property/development. Where I live now, I pay $435/month in HOA dues. And it's VERY well maintained and the HOA fees have gone down two years in a row. (So that is another sign to see the history of the HOA dues if it's gone up or down over the years). The well run HOA's you will actually see it go down sometimes which is great! To be honest, this is the first time I've owned a property where my HOA fees went down 2 years in a row. (And of course many, many houses don't have any HOA fees at all).

Here the HOA fees include guard gated security 24/7, immaculately maintaining the entire development which is 38,000 acres. It includes weekly garbage pick up, as well as high speed Internet (25 MB speeds) as well as digital cable. So I think it's a fabulous deal compared to some condos I have that have higher HOA fees!
And there ya have it. I have learned more in the last 30 minutes about condos and HOA's, than I could have asked for.

WHO KNEW SFH had HOA's!!! You mean that if I could afford one, I could buy a single family home, and STILL have someone fixing "stuff" for me?!?

I have died and gone to a place I only think about when I'm ............. *never mind*

Oh lordie lordie lordie............ SHUT THE OVEN DOOR! lol

What's this about SFH and HOA's?!? Please, enlighten this poor sot.



bullie~
 
Old 07-12-2013, 08:37 PM
 
Location: Santaluz - San Diego, CA
4,485 posts, read 8,151,658 times
Reputation: 1976
Quote:
Originally Posted by bullie62 View Post
And there ya have it. I have learned more in the last 30 minutes about condos and HOA's, than I could have asked for.

WHO KNEW SFH had HOA's!!! You mean that if I could afford one, I could buy a single family home, and STILL have someone fixing "stuff" for me?!?

I have died and gone to a place I only think about when I'm ............. *never mind*

Oh lordie lordie lordie............ SHUT THE OVEN DOOR! lol

What's this about SFH and HOA's?!? Please, enlighten this poor sot.



bullie~

Ha, ha. Well not that easy. No, they don't fix things for me. The HOA doesn't include maintaining my personal yard/property. I still have to do that and I have a gardener that comes once a week for that.

Yeah, there are still many SFH's that have HOA fees. Most don't but if you live in a master planned community then you can have them. Here in San Diego there are several communities that don't even offer many amenities at all and they STILL have an HOA fee. No security, or anything.

I realize my situation probably isn't the norm but yes there are some Single Family Homes that have HOA fees. Here is my development: San Diego's Premier Coastal Golf Community | Real Estate | Santaluz, California - Santaluz Community Maintenance Association

If you get bored you can check out some of the videos. http://www.santaluz.com/Video It's the most special place I've ever lived in my life. Needless to say I find the HOA fees totally worth it.
 
Old 07-13-2013, 01:06 PM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,502,154 times
Reputation: 29081
I guess we're lucky, and shrewd because we did check things before we bought for our retirement home. I personally have always hated HOAs and resulting fees fees finding them intrusive and outrageous in many instances and the latter always subject to increases. We chose a single family hose in a small (213 houses), lakeside community of nothing but custom SFDs. The community owns and maintains all the streets, provides street clearance during the rare snowfall that requires it, maintains unsold lots, has a lighted helipad for medical evacuation if needed (we're quite rural - been used once in the four years we've lived here) and provides a community center and very nice pool. For all this there is an HOA annual assessment of a walloping $205 a year. That's stayed steady for at least 20 years and I find it a small price to pay for all we get which includes shared ownership of the 19 lots dedicated to association maintenance, the community center, pool, helipad, et all. Best of all, the HOA keeps hands off of and out of our business. Thankfully, the vast predominance of the people who live here - I'd say 98% - take real pride in their homes and good care of their lots which range from a quarter acre to 3/4.

Now that's my idea of a reasonable HOA.
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