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Old 03-15-2015, 10:02 PM
 
104 posts, read 137,106 times
Reputation: 192

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In the US, aren't a lot of neighbourhoods full of detached, single family houses often time under similar HOA rules? So, this whole "communism" applies to condos, detached homes, etc--the whole gamut.

I live in a condo and I like it fine. I have no desire for a single family house. The lack of maintenance is a big plus for me.
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Old 03-15-2015, 10:05 PM
 
3,132 posts, read 1,724,698 times
Reputation: 3509
Where we live a 3 bedroom condo costs almost the same as what our house will sell for, maybe more. Propert tax will be same and condo fees same as what we pay now for maintenance, yard, snow removal etc. we went away for a month, had our mail held. When we came back we had to have roofs raked, had water leaks in bedroom and porch. Could have happened in a condo as well.

I don't understand the way they price these new condos.
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Old 03-15-2015, 10:17 PM
 
Location: Ormond Beach Fl
86 posts, read 94,807 times
Reputation: 266
We moved fr a single family home with a big yard into a condo, thought it would be a hard adjustment, quite the contrary! We are in Cali also and our association is very well run, we are pleased. We read through every word in the docs before we signed, that is good advice. So nice to have lawn done, outside maintenance taken care of! We are moving to another state next year and if we find a suitable condo - we'll go for it!
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Old 03-16-2015, 12:31 AM
Status: "Is that all there is?" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: Southeastern Pennsylvania
996 posts, read 863,490 times
Reputation: 2298
How many owners? Enough that you can count on good common sense to prevail when issues come to a vote?

We own a beach condo with just three units, and everything was great for the first 15 years when the other two owners had tastes and opinions and attitudes in synch with ours. Within a two-year span, the other two units changed hands and now we are constantly out-voted on projects big and small.

The one that upset me the most was the decision to replace solid cedar siding with vinyl siding. The cedar was still in great shape, just needed the regular maintenance. But the two new owners preferred plastic to real wood. So we were out-voted to the tune of $20k+ per unit -- completely unnecessary!

I wouldn't buy a condo again in a complex that had fewer than 20 owners. I think it may take that many to keep common sense in mind.
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Old 03-16-2015, 01:16 AM
Status: "Rock on ancient queen" (set 10 hours ago)
 
Location: Bakersfield, Ca
1,846 posts, read 1,371,333 times
Reputation: 3940
Thrilled beyond belief .

Age 52 and in great shape and This is our 3rd rented one in 10 years off the farm ( job relocations ). I'll never go back to rural living. I just board our horses and still compete and do OTHER things .. I am FREEEEEEEEEE.

My dishwasher broke the other week and poof the complex brought another one and I didn't have to BUY it YAY !! no taxes , no maintenance , no HOA. 300,000 of renters ins is 19.00 a month.

I probably will not buy again , I am just too busy. Plus the housing prices are such that at this age i would be paying someone for the rest of my life so its more economical for me to rent and get services instead of work.
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Old 03-16-2015, 04:58 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,978,143 times
Reputation: 15649
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
One more thing, a very important thing. Following California practice, we board members do not handle money or write checks. We have a bonded management company that does that. We, as a board, hire contractors, approve contracts, and approve payments to vendors - but the management company makes the payments following our instructions. Our monthly fees are sent to (collected by) the management company.

If I were looking at a condo where the board members themselves - who are nothing but fellow homeowners serving as volunteers - actually handle the money and write the checks, I would run like hell.
Do condos have to provide information and reports up front, and if not, just how would one go about finding out how an HOA is run, who is on the board, who the mgement company is, how bidding and payment is done?
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Old 03-16-2015, 05:02 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,978,143 times
Reputation: 15649
Quote:
Originally Posted by cb2008 View Post
Where we live a 3 bedroom condo costs almost the same as what our house will sell for, maybe more. Propert tax will be same and condo fees same as what we pay now for maintenance, yard, snow removal etc. we went away for a month, had our mail held. When we came back we had to have roofs raked, had water leaks in bedroom and porch. Could have happened in a condo as well.

Does anyone know if "outside maintenance" includes roof-raking of snow/ice, or do you have to pay for that for your own unit?
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Old 03-16-2015, 06:20 AM
 
Location: Orlando
1,992 posts, read 2,637,223 times
Reputation: 7578
For several years, my husband and I lived in a condominium in South FL, and I loved it. We were on the 5th floor of an 11 story building, overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway. We had a door man, and the $300 a month fee covered all maintenance of common areas and exterior, including a large pool.

Then we moved to North FL, and at that time there were no condos, so we bought a single family home and all maintenance became our job. Neither of us was at all handy, so we had to "find a guy" for everything. After a couple of years of that, we bought a newly built townhouse in a community with an HOA. Our $75 a month fee paid for all yard work, lawn mowing, etc. no snow removal, obviously.

Now I'm a widow in a single family home, with an HOA that does very little in terms of outside maintenance. I still have to "find a guy" to do everything, and my home maintenance costs far exceed what I would pay for a condo maintenance fee.

This time next year, I am putting my house on the market, and when I sell it, I hope to find a single story condo. I greatly prefer condominium living. I'd much rather follow condominium rules (having read them in advance, of course) than have the constant and -- to me -- burdensome responsibility for all maintenance.

BTW, my single-family-home neighbors have been much noisier than my condo neighbors ever were.
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Old 03-16-2015, 06:38 AM
 
4,539 posts, read 4,835,587 times
Reputation: 3481
I own a condo and the downside is most people dont want to be on board and you always chasing a few folks for arrears.

Trouble is I stepped up to be on the board and it puts you in a catch 22.

I do a ton of work on board and lowered our insurance costs, resolved most of arrears issues and got better deals on some existing contracts and initiated a building wise tax grievance.

Sounds good but with 30 units and I only own one I only get 3.3% of any savings. And it also means the freeloaders get the benefit of my work. My other alternative is to do nothing and watch building fall apart and maint go up and taxes stay high.

I also own a single family home and I enjoy dealing with fact I get 100% of savings and even simple things like planting flowers, powerwashing painting rails dont become huge political issues.


Condos except for a few very well managed ones are cyclical. Good Boards, Bad Boards, Good Managing Agents, Bad Managing Agents come and go and sometimes places make fatal mistakes even if they are good.

Lido Towers in Lido Beach NY is a perfect case study of how a board can unintentional destroy building. Condo is beach side and facade, balaconies, lobby etc were in poor condition. Condo board entered into a huge project to restore building, ended up costing around 100K a unit over a decade and building was majestic again and good for another 30 years. The board found a better management company and switched shortly before Sandy hit. Well Sandy hit building very hard. It destroyed a lot of work they just paid for. But wait they had flood insurance for building, two big policies. Well guess what prior management company and current management company had a mix up on paying bill on one policy. The agent dropped the ball by not checking up and when he finally got check shortly before sandy he did not run and cash it, and the board dropped the ball as they did not verify it was paid prior to sandy.

Anyhow boom, Sandy hit and tons of new work was distroyed and they did not have full insurance coverage they thought they had. They took a 40K assessment per unit and raise maint.

Folks have seen units fall from 500K to 300K over last ten years and have paid around 140 in assessments. Original cause of problem was the 1980/1990ss board. Bunch of old folks kept maint artificially low for two decade by doing zero maint. This led to the huge issues from 2000-2010 and then the Sandy flood and insurance issue killed them off.

Meanwhile other condos near me are exceptionally managed and have always done well.

Lido towers has multiple multiple lawsuits going on and tons of short sales over last two years.

Meanwhile there is another beach side condo next to it called Lido Townhouse that avoided all the issues even though they are next door. Sandy hit them too but they recovered quickly as they always had a good board, always kept up on building, had flood protection stuff in place and proper insurance.

Last edited by SandyJet; 03-16-2015 at 06:55 AM..
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Old 03-16-2015, 07:14 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX and Las Vegas, NV
5,699 posts, read 4,422,611 times
Reputation: 11675
Some more insight into what we did, just for input. We have owned several rental properties that were in HOA and I always attended the annual board meetings. I learned the difference, quickly, between well run and not well run HOA's. Upon our retirement, we decided that we'd like to travel extensively for several years. Initially, we thought we'd just be nomads but without a place to come "home" to, we thought we would always be aimless and not feel like we had a place we could fall back on. This was of concern -- especially if we were off somewhere and had a health or family emergency. So we decided to buy a condo that would satisfy the needs if one of us became ill or one of us died. Public transportation, walkable to shops and restaurants, near medical options, one floor (we take elevator from parking garage or street level). We bought a 1600' sq ft condo in the residential tower of a very nice hotel. There's room service if we need, 24/7 concierge, and many amentities including spa, gym, outdoor fireplaces and barbeques, etc. Taxi's right outside, or the rail station across the street. Valet parking and groceries brought to our door if we want. If we want the newspaper, its right outside our (interior hall) door. Elevator is no wait and right to our door. Parcels are put right in our apartment if we are away. We have never once heard a neighbor and we have 180 degree city views. What is the adjustment? I finally sleep thru city sounds (like ambulances) and its not uncommon, right under our terrace to see police cars pulling drivers over to ticket them. We have 2 balconies, but nothing appropriate for the dog so we have to take him down the elevator to go out. Staff would walk him if I made arrangements, but that's not what we want. That is the hardest part. The HOA fee is very high (just under $1k/month) but its a true lock and leave situation in a 4-5 star hotel. But its extremely well managed with a full time manager and staff. The security is great, the service is wonderful. And if you want to be in a city situation, its fabulous. If you like gardening -- not the place. If you want your car attached to your hall door -- not the place. Getting the car means an elevator ride down to the garage.
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