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Old 06-12-2014, 01:38 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,963,628 times
Reputation: 6718

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Longford View Post
Referring to Chicago, I think you've mischaracterized the "great downtown" of the city. Downtown Chicago is more vibrant than at any point in my nearly 65-years. Instead of "deterioration" we have constant building of new structures - residential - stores - offices. Downtown restaurants - good restaurants - have probably quadrupled in the past 5 years. I don't think Chicago's Downtown is any "more dangerous" today than it was 30 years ago.
Then your city needs a better public relations firm:

Chicago Is The Worst American City - Business Insider

Chicago Crime Impacting Tourism? City Tourism Official Suggests So, Then Backs Down

Robyn
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Old 06-12-2014, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,963,628 times
Reputation: 6718
Quote:
Originally Posted by oddstray View Post
Very true. Special assessments for repairs are not the same as special assessments for improvements. The former can be insured against. The latter, probably not.
I think you misunderstood me. Our Hurricane Andrew assessments were for repairs. There are simply some things that are difficult/impossible to insure in Florida - like landscaping. Hurricane Andrew washed all of ours into Biscayne Bay. Robyn
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Old 06-12-2014, 01:46 PM
 
741 posts, read 642,971 times
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Your earlier comments to which I responded were about "Downtown Chicago." The comments in the articles you've posted are almost exclusively about other parts of the city. The city doesn't need better public relations staff. People who read just need to understand what they're reading. As one example: a magazine reporter's comment that Chicago's O'Hare Airport has difficulty ranking in the Top 5 internationally is foolish. The comparisons made are between Chicago, a regional airport ... with national airports in London, Tokyo, Bejing, etc. Foolish comparisons. 66 million people flew into Chicago last year and 46 million visited as tourists in the city which was a record number (2012 numbers, because 2013 aren't available yet that I can find).
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Old 06-12-2014, 02:01 PM
 
Location: SoCal desert
8,093 posts, read 13,253,985 times
Reputation: 14870
Quote:
Originally Posted by timberline742
I'm not making a blanket statement, I'm making one from my experiences. They aren't all that hopping. Oh sure there are yoga classes, arts classes, tennis, etc. But not the real vibrancy that an urban core with students / touring bands / art installations, etc possess.
And there are some of us who consider "a vibrant urban core" purely horrifying.

To those who like urban cores or condos or +55's or HOA's ... more power to you! That leaves more houses at the end of a dirt road with no neighbors for me
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Old 06-12-2014, 02:07 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,963,628 times
Reputation: 6718
Quote:
Originally Posted by SandyJet View Post
Condos are also good at beach as an upper unit protects your belongings in a flood and the main level the association fixes after a storm.
It depends both on the condo and the storm. There are a lot of IMO flimsy "stick condos" in various parts of the coastal SE (perhaps up north too - I don't know). They can be washed away by storms. Also - you can get lots of wind damage from some storms. Sometimes even with the strongest shutters (in the worst storms). I think coastal living has its own peculiar subset of issues/problems that people ought to explore if they're thinking of living on/near the coast.

FWIW - one thing every condo owner has to understand is that a lot of condo property insurance covers at most the cost of repairing and replacing damage to the property. It doesn't cover the loss in value of your unit (either partial or total). Or issues arising as a result of loss of land (some storms wind up creating new channels - washing away the land that used to be there). Best to check into these things on a local basis if you're considering a condo.

Note that associations aren't a "them". They're an "us" - run by the people who live in them. This can lead to issues in places that are occupied part time by many seasonal residents. Especially if they have the mindset that associations are a "them". I lived in one condo that had a large number of part time seasonal residents (about 50%) and wouldn't do it again (have never been and probably never will be a part time seasonal resident). Robyn
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Old 06-12-2014, 02:24 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,963,628 times
Reputation: 6718
Quote:
Originally Posted by Longford View Post
...You can't say that about single family homes, where your next door neighbors can do what they want even if it's annoying, obnoxious, or they don't maintain their property ... and you have nothing to say about it.
I agree with almost everything you said in this message - except this. A good HOA can do a lot of what a good condo association can do. And - if neighbors are really bad - there are always local ordinances and the like that apply outside condos and HOAs. Overall though - there are limits to what anyone can do about really bad neighbors unless what they're doing violates some kind of rule or ordinance. Also - if your neighbor routinely gives loud parties at 2 am that violate rules/ordinances - you can complain to the association or call the cops. But - if the neighbor is an insensitive inconsiderate lout - this likely won't deter the neighbor in the future.

FWIW - this was a constant problem in our last condo. It overlooked a club area where there were frequent loud weekend parties lasting until 1-2 am. Rules were violated - but no one enforced the rules. One of our current next door neighbors is less than fabulous when it comes to landscape maintenance - but the family (husband and wife and 2 kids) are SO quiet I sometimes think they're dead. I'll take the peace and quiet here over the pristine maintenance in our old condo. Robyn
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Old 06-12-2014, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,963,628 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StressedOutNYer View Post
...CT and LI are "allergic" to HOAs, for the most part, which is one of the reasons I like these areas...
Why do you think there's such an allergy? Perhaps people are paying so much in property taxes that they don't want to spend more on something like HOA fees. I don't know.

One thing I like about a lot of HOAs here is underground power lines. I have read stories about many people up north losing power for extended periods of time in what IMO are minor storms and have realized it's in part because there are so many neighborhoods that still have wood poles with power lines running along streets and to houses. I looked up the suburban neighborhood in New Jersey where I grew up. And - although it didn't make an impression on me at the time when I was growing up - the place has all those wood power poles and external lines running to houses.

FWIW - I don't mean to imply that all of the lines where I live are underground. But those in my HOA are. And the feeders to the HOA are all on huge concrete structures. Those lines could come down - but it would take a heck of a lot to bring those concrete structures down. Robyn

P.S. I absolutely HATE losing power.
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Old 06-12-2014, 02:54 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,963,628 times
Reputation: 6718
Quote:
Originally Posted by Longford View Post
I don't think you can foreclose on the units...
A HOA in Florida can - but there's usually no financial incentive to do so because the bank has a superior lien. OTOH - if a HOA is on top of things - and ours is - starting the lien/foreclosure process can force a bank to sh** or get off the pot. A lot of banks here in Florida wanted to sit on the pot as long as possible and not foreclose after the building bust. Because they didn't want to wind up owning properties - and being responsible for things like HOA fees. We have about 1100 houses in our HOA - and I don't recall more than about 20 post-bust foreclosures. The lower the value of property in Florida - the worse it was usually hit. Stay away from low priced condos here unless you know what you're getting into. Robyn
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Old 06-12-2014, 03:06 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,963,628 times
Reputation: 6718
Quote:
Originally Posted by Longford View Post
Your earlier comments to which I responded were about "Downtown Chicago." The comments in the articles you've posted are almost exclusively about other parts of the city. The city doesn't need better public relations staff. People who read just need to understand what they're reading. As one example: a magazine reporter's comment that Chicago's O'Hare Airport has difficulty ranking in the Top 5 internationally is foolish. The comparisons made are between Chicago, a regional airport ... with national airports in London, Tokyo, Bejing, etc. Foolish comparisons. 66 million people flew into Chicago last year and 46 million visited as tourists in the city which was a record number (2012 numbers, because 2013 aren't available yet that I can find).
I don't know how many times I've been to Chicago in the last decade or two. Perhaps 6 (easy hop/skip/jump from JAX). And the thing that has worried me most in recent years - especially as an older person - is the stories about gangs of kids/thugs whose presence was in the past usually relegated to parts of Chicago where I'd never go as a tourist winding up in areas like Miracle Mile:

'Muggers' Mile'? Guardian Angels Warn Of Recent Robberies On Chicago's Michigan Avenue

My husband and I like really safe cities.

Just a note from a tourist to a resident. Prevent this from happening. Note that most tourists like me couldn't care less what happens in the "bad" areas of Chicago - that's your problem as a resident - not mine as a tourist . Robyn
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Old 06-12-2014, 03:16 PM
 
Location: Glenbogle
730 posts, read 1,030,091 times
Reputation: 1047
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robyn55 View Post
Why do you think there's such an allergy?
Several reasons I can think of:

(1) LI was originally and still is zoned in favor of SFH rather than multiple dwelling housing. Back the day there was no such thing as condos; it was either SFH or rental apartment. Rentals were deemed to encourage "transients" which is considered a less desirable population.

(2) By the time HOAs made their appearance, most of LI was already built out; the only large pieces of land were the farms out on the north and south forks. There just wasn't enough available space for a developer to come in and put up a couple dozen houses and certainly not enough room for a clubhouse, golf course or whatever. As the farmers have dwindled and sold off most or all of their land, there have been a few HOA or over-55 communities built but they tend to all be out on this "east end"... past where the highways and expressway ends (and can't continue).

Most new construction tends to be spot building or perhaps a cul-de-sac of less than a dozen (often just a half dozen) homes that are built when a longtime resident who happens to have something oversize (2 -4 acres) and either dies or decides to sell it off.

There are a few condo communities in Nassau County which is the closer county to NYC, but they are in areas where the cost of them is beyond the reach of anyone who isn't making well into six figures.

(3) Local residents tend to oppose high-density dwellings on LI and it's not easy to get new construction approved even if land becomes available.

The property tax thing does factor in too, as you mentioned. When you're paying between $10-$20K in taxes already, you're really not much inclined to pile HOA dues on top of that unless you have fairly deep pockets.

And to be honest, people on LI know which towns are bad, good, better and best. It's not like in some parts of the country where people buy in a gated community mainly for safety reasons.
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