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Since we started talking about HOA's in the other thread I thought I'd share an interesting story about a Condo Association around here. There's a 150ish 2 story apartment complex around here that was built in the 60's. Obviously 60ish years later it needs quite a bit of repair that's been put off for far too long. They claim the fixes needed for the property would cost $30-40k per household.

So the condo association came up with the brilliant plan to remove the pool and lose some parking and build townhouses. Using the money from the sale of the townhouses they would pay for all of the fixes. I think the pool has been shut down since 2012. Right now the condo fees are $572 a month on $250-275k condos.

You can guess how well organized this has been since the condo association has allowed $4.5-6 million worth of repairs to be needed. First the zoning isn't correct and keeps getting shut down so they keep proposing a lower number of townhouses be built. The town HOA Design Review Board keeps rejecting their plan for some reason or another. They're now on their 3rd developer as a partner on this project. There's yet another meeting next week which I'm sure will result in the same outcome.

And now you know why I will never own a condo.

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Condo ownership can be a minefield. There are at least a couple of cases in the Calgary area where special assessments were levied that were over $100,000 per unit. And these are on condos that were worth $200,000 - $400,000. Many owners were put well under water & just abandoned them. One of the complexes was less than 5 years old.

On the other hand, my daughter has one in a complex that was the first condo corporation in Alberta. It's about 50 years old and is the model of how one should be run. It's well maintained, the landscaping is beautiful, and every few years they tackle major maintenance projects such as new roofing, new fencing, windows, etc. They've had no major special assessments.

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I worked for a Condo HOA designing replacement water main. Something that is over 50 years old would make me nervous. The old cast iron water mains are reaching end of life and if the water system is privately owned by the HOA it can be a huge cost. The project was $1 million and covered 256 units. So not terrible per unit.

$100,000 assessment per unit is absurd, that'd never fly here. We have state laws that work to prevent assessments that cost more than the potential value increase, and most of the time projects need to appraise properties to make this work.

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These horror stories are one of many reasons I prefer to own my own single-family home, and to not have it placed within any city limits. State and County regulations are bothersome enough, without layering City and neighborhood/HOA stuff on top.

Not that I am against building codes and such. Rules to ensure safe building practices are a good thing, having a group to dictate how things should LOOK, and relying on others to manage the upkeep of a common dwelling, is about like expecting a political party to run the country. Like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get.

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2 hours ago, Chestnut said:

$100,000 assessment per unit is absurd, that'd never fly here. We have state laws that work to prevent assessments that cost more than the potential value increase, and most of the time projects need to appraise properties to make this work.

You can have all the laws in the world, but if there are major repairs that need to be made, who's gonna pay? The condo owners are on the hook, cause no one else is.

Both the cases I mentioned were from moisture damage behind acrylic stucco (something I'd never in 100 years put on my house). If moisture gets in from bad flashing, or whatever, it cant dry to the inside because of the vapor barrier, and it can't dry to the outside because the acrylic stucco is almost impermable. So things rot.

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2 hours ago, wtnhighlander said:

These horror stories are one of many reasons I prefer to own my own single-family home, and to not have it placed within any city limits. State and County regulations are bothersome enough, without layering City and neighborhood/HOA stuff on top.

Not that I am against building codes and such. Rules to ensure safe building practices are a good thing, having a group to dictate how things should LOOK, and relying on others to manage the upkeep of a common dwelling, is about like expecting a political party to run the country. Like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get.

I agree I pull permits for almost all of my builds, I may have pulled circuit without a permit but nothing big. In the last 6 month's I have dealt with the following at my MIL's patio home.

1) $100 fine for not pulling her trash can up to the garage quickly enough...we're talking the same day. I raised hell and they waived it.

2) Mold on shade side of house, a spot about 4" wide and 2' long on the side where no one has windows. I paid $150 to have their cleaner do her entire house.

3) HOA relocated the free paper holder away from the mail box units becuase the sprinkler was hitting the pole it was attached too. Now the residents have to walk another half a block to get their free papers. Not a huge deal but many are in their 80's and we get snow ice here ^_^

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Those fines are crazy. In our 8 years of being here I don't believe the HOA has fined anyone. I honestly don't even know if they're able to. My wife was on the board for 2 years, one as the president too.

26 minutes ago, drzaius said:

You can have all the laws in the world, but if there are major repairs that need to be made, who's gonna pay? The condo owners are on the hook, cause no one else is.

Both the cases I mentioned were from moisture damage behind acrylic stucco (something I'd never in 100 years put on my house). If moisture gets in from bad flashing, or whatever, it cant dry to the inside because of the vapor barrier, and it can't dry to the outside because the acrylic stucco is almost impermable. So things rot.

Yeah I agree. So you can't charge people the $100k to fix it, no one will buy it knowing what's needed to fix it.

When we bought our house it was EIFS Stucco and 40+ years old. You could see each and every patch. Quotes to get it fixed were comical since so few people aren't here know how to work with it. Ended up being cheaper to put Hardieboard siding up for the whole townhouse then fixing one or two stucco issues plus we would have to get the whole place painted to avoid the patchy look.

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3 hours ago, legenddc said:

Yeah I agree. So you can't charge people the $100k to fix it, no one will buy it knowing what's needed to fix it.

And there is not even the option to opt out of the repair, because in many buildings, high rises especially, even one unrepaired unit will affect all units.

I guess we're getting a little off topic here, condo corporations aren't really the same as an HOA.

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10 minutes ago, legenddc said:

Back on topic, I don't know how I forgot to include this but our HOA runs a woodshop. In non-covid times I can go pay $16 or $20 and get access to a fully stocked woodworking shop complete with almost anything you could need. They even run classes there you can register for.

Nice!!

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5 hours ago, legenddc said:

Back on topic, I don't know how I forgot to include this but our HOA runs a woodshop. In non-covid times I can go pay $16 or $20 and get access to a fully stocked woodworking shop complete with almost anything you could need. They even run classes there you can register for.

Good way to really find out what tools you need for you personal work flow.

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