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Old 08-24-2017, 10:54 AM
 
5,407 posts, read 6,569,673 times
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Good point. If I can't find a good place that allows my dog, that is limiting, but it makes decisions easier.
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Old 08-24-2017, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Arizona
5,991 posts, read 5,347,125 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyewackette View Post

I would hate having to pay $500 a month for HOA fees, and I hate HOAs for both practical and ideological reasons. My house payment is only about $630 a month, in this expensive area. An additional fee for a HOA is just not warranted. Even if I paid a lawn service, it would not cost me $500 a month to get my lawn taken care of. I can do it myself with my wheeled weed-whacker. If I want access to a gym or pool, that's what the city parks & rec gyms/pools are for, for $30 a month.
Sure you get the lawn done and join a gym for less. What about when you need a roof or driveway? My condo fee covers pest control, water, sewer, trash, insurance. How much a month for that in a house? Average outside maintenance can add up. Anti condo people always think they can piece it together cheaper. They can't.

Condos aren't for everyone. I wish those people would quit buying them.
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Old 08-24-2017, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Arizona
5,991 posts, read 5,347,125 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craigiri View Post
It is really the very rare condo that has adequate reserves. The entire idea seems to be "I won't be around here when that time comes, so who cares?".....

Specifically, owners - even of a high end unit - rarely vote for increases that are for "stuff later". They will vote for increases which benefit them NOW.

There is some truth to their outlook. One property expert I know says the idea is to buy a new condo and sell it in years 10-12.

One of our properties is a high end condo. I know we don't have enough reserves. We all know. One resident asked us to do a proper spreadsheet on future costs. We came back with the reality - condo fees would have to DOUBLE (from $550 a month to $1100) to properly plan for million dollar projects like roof replacement in 15 more years, etc.....

Crickets were heard.

Anyway, buyers beware. Chances are that very few of you have enough experience in financials and construction to really know what is going on. My parents owned a top end condo in Miami Beach which ended up being "under construction" for major renovations for two years...and each unit owned something like 150K in special assessments.

There is something to be said for renting - but unfortunately it's hard to find good stuff.
I did that with a new condo. They seldom have enough in reserves. Sold before the projects started.

Now I have an older condo. Great reserves. Scheduled repairs and replacement and have been for decades.

Once someone was looking at one of our units. I told them they may find something a little nicer and a little less expensive. Then I showed them our balance sheet and told them if the numbers aren't good, and ours are very good, that other condo will cost a lot more in the long run. Most people still don't understand that part. Is it so hard to ask if the reserves are fully funded?
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Old 08-24-2017, 12:23 PM
 
10,604 posts, read 14,263,734 times
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LOL pot smoking hardly qualifies as a valid reason to complain about multifamily housing, IMO.

LOL complaining about pools? You'd go to the YMCA? Well that's completely irrelevant because not EVERY CONDO has a POOL and if they don't they'll be MUCH CHEAPER.

No , good reserves aren't rare, IME. Mine had $3 Million and enough to replace all the roofs any time with no problem besides all the other other routine and projected work. It's all laid out in our community financials and yearly plans. My place is impeccable.

The REASON I mentioned it is for the mismanaged ones, and SURE, they do exist. We're not all resolved after the real estate crash, after all.

If you don't have sufficient reserves it's because YOU VOTED FOR THAT. Or had a bunch of people not paying attention or not willing to spend the money to get GOOD COUNSEL when you took it over from the builder or whatever. OR you had a bunch of residents go upside down in the real estate crash. So you overspent. Or you let the owners RENT to a bunch of renters just to keep afloat. It's YOU GUY'S responsibility if you move in one because it's not a secret how it works or what your responsibilities are.

PERIOD.

No, you don't get horrible board members unless you are an apathetic community and fail to participate in the voting, policies, and activities for your community. So YEAH it's important to KNOW your community and PROHIBIT a bunch of RENTAL UNITS.

You want mostly OWNER OCCUPIED units living there or snowbirds who are reliable. (although THEY can be a problem, too if they're apathetic and consider it a "hotel")

And no, usually you cannot have a Weim in a condo. Most condos IME, are size restricted to usually 25 lbs dogs. Now just a generic HOA is a different thing but that would be a townhouse or twin, or SFH which you're not looking at right now.

NO, your average condo HOA fee is NOT $500.00. It's relative to your geography and your AMENITIES.

Mine is $350 - ONLY RAISED BY $5.00 THE PAST TEN YEARS. In Florida. And most of our taxes are very low in fact, some people pay what they paid 20 years ago.

Includes:

Professional Security Guarded Gated entry
Professional Property Management on site
Permanent maintenance crew on site
Lawyers, CPA firm (etc) Which includes negotiation with the county on issues like when they widened the road.
Wildlife Management (we have ALOT. Alligators, bobcats, pigs....)
Trash
Sewar
Water
Cable
ALL maintenance from dry wall out except your own personal plumbing pipes in MY documents
All routine outside maintenance which is ALOT of stuff. (like painting my atrium and rails routinely)
Major repairs like rebar
Major landscaping which is ALOT not cheap tacky/dead
Lakes
Boat ramp into the Intracoastal
small boat storage
Observation Deck to relax and/or eat on the intracoastal
50 Acre Nature Preserve and Trail
Two clubhouses one big one small with kitchens etc
BBQ area with patio seating
Two pools one big one small (and related activities every day)
Tennis
Gym
Shuffleboard type stuff
Library/Business Center w Internet

Endless social activities for those who are interested in participating and managing them. Even our Nature Preserve has a committee of residents who take care of it because they love doing it. They even put a butterfly garden in there.

Conversely, Comcast was charging me over $125.00 (maybe even $140.00) at another location I had.

I paid $100 per month for lawn service in 1999.

So seriously, don't claim my condo is MORE MONEY than your single family house and how you can "do it all" yourself. LOL. Well, unless I guess you cart your own trash to the local dump and don't do anything more than MOW once a month and let your trees get all huge and messed up etc.

Are you roofers? (just for starters).

Last edited by runswithscissors; 08-24-2017 at 12:41 PM..
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Old 08-24-2017, 12:29 PM
 
10,604 posts, read 14,263,734 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thinkalot View Post
I did that with a new condo. They seldom have enough in reserves. Sold before the projects started.
What does that mean?

The builder is the HOA until there are approx. 75-80% owned units and they turn it over to the community.

There is a VOTE to take it over and it can be forced to be CONDITIONAL. IE engineering inspections etc.

Lots of fact free comments floating around about HOA/Condo.

ALWAYS.
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Old 08-24-2017, 12:51 PM
 
Location: DFW - Coppell / Las Colinas
32,207 posts, read 36,816,104 times
Reputation: 38922
As a Realtor I do hear many stories of the disadvantages of sharing walls with others. Most of it has to do with noise and cooking smells. When that couple from SE Asia moves in next door and loves their Curry, it can be a very pungent smell. Same if you have a smoker next door.

Also, make sure your not buying into a HOA that has a major lawsuit, huge special assesments, major needed repairs.

Check out:

Homeowner Association Fees Could Triple to Fund Creek Fix - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Old 08-24-2017, 01:11 PM
 
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
9,324 posts, read 8,380,887 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alpineprince View Post
Really could not imagine going back into a SFH. Lived in suburban and city apartments and condo's for 20 year's and love the freedom.
We gave up our SFH in 2009 and haven't looked back since.

There is so much freedom and safety with a condo.

I would consider a townhouse but in my current neighborhood they start at around $800,000.
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Old 08-24-2017, 01:14 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
14,327 posts, read 45,080,802 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreSnowForMe View Post
Not sure if you were intending to buy or rent, but as a renter now, an upside is that if you don't like the place, you can always move.

I differ with runswithscissors on which floor is preferable - just depends on what you prefer - but I prefer to be on the top floor because I hate hearing people above me. Even small people can sound like elephants when they're moving around on your ceiling. My building has two elevators and is handicap access, so it's no problem getting upstairs.

I suggest finding one with a balcony or patio. Not having one was not fun for me for many years. Even my tiny balcony gives me somewhere to sit outside and grow some plants. My bougainvillea is blooming :-)

I personally really hate HOAs. They're an unknown future cost, let alone drama. I had a condo once and they immediately raised the dues after I bought, grrr. Plus, you can get wackos on the board who change the rules and start bugging you about what plants you can have on your porch, blah blah. If I'm going to own property, I want to have control over it. I always owned my properties, and after I bought that condo and dealt with crazy board members, I sold it a year later and swore off HOAs for the rest of my life. You'll always end up with control freak weirdos with personal agendas. Just ugh.

So for me, unless I bought a property I owned without an HOA, I'd rather rent.
What she said. You might have a good HOA sitch right now, but you never know when Felix Derzhensky III is going to be elected as the new commissar of your HOA. It does seem to me that "helping" to run the HOA attracts busybodies, who at best are a nuisance, at worst can really screw things up for you.
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Old 08-24-2017, 01:27 PM
 
Location: equator
3,558 posts, read 1,577,795 times
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Our all-concrete condo is so well-built that we never hear any of our neighbors. Side, below, top. And I have asked if they hear us. No. The only sound that travels is scraping furniture across the floor---pretty rare. Our floors are porcelain. We're on the 2nd floor. Garage, but no car. Built in 2013---weathered the 7.8 earthquake last year, as I mentioned in another thread.


We got sick and tired of maintenance issues so revel in our lush landscaping, infinity pool and the beach just outside the gate.


It's not officially "over 55" but in reality, it is. A few renters, but have not been an issue yet, since they are seniors too!


I am glad for the community aspect, all the social interactions that we would not have otherwise. A built-in social circle.


There's always that nasty couple who make trouble, but that's life. We just ignore 'em. Our neighbors were much worse on 5 acres, LOL.


Oh, and no problem with pot-smoking or brownies. We're all doing it!
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Old 08-24-2017, 02:30 PM
 
14,295 posts, read 24,077,597 times
Reputation: 20153
Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
What she said. You might have a good HOA sitch right now, but you never know when Felix Derzhensky III is going to be elected as the new commissar of your HOA. It does seem to me that "helping" to run the HOA attracts busybodies, who at best are a nuisance, at worst can really screw things up for you.

The reason that the Felixes are elected to the board are because the Mitches don't want to get off their arse and participate. It is MUCH EASIER to sit back and complain constantly.
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