CategoryTips for Owners

This category is aimed at owners.

Tips for Working With a Realtor When Buying a Condo

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Whether you are a first-time buyer or not, there are a lot of nuances to be aware of when buying property.  Beyond the norm – of which there are many lists, including this one,  and these two, you’ve got a lot to consider in making the right choice.  In addition to deciding if the property is right for you, you need to decide if the Association is right for you.  One resource that...

Why Condo Association Boards Act Slowly

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One universal complaint about Condo Association Boards is that they are slow to act.  Even for the most basic of requests, Owners are frequently frustrated by the fact that it takes weeks, or even months, for a Board to get back to an Owner.  Accusations of sloth, indifference, or even malice are common.  While in some cases these accusations can be true, there are also several structural and...

Fighting Apathy #2: Get Involved in Your Condo Association Part 2

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In Part 1 of this article, we covered the first steps to get involved in your condo association to fight apathy.  Today we’ll cover the final steps on how you can become a more involved and engaged Owner.   Step 3:  Identify General Fiscal Health Fiscal health is a very deep and complicated subject, particularly for a Condo Association, and especially so if you’re starting from scratch.  Today’s...

Fighting Apathy #2: Get Involved in Your Condo Association Part 1

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This is the second installment in a series of articles designed to help Condo Associations fight apathy, the number one cause of Condo Associations breaking bad.  Today’s focus is on helping Owners get involved in your Condo Association.  The first installment of Fighting Apathy was focused on Board members maintaining a “get to yes” attitude, aimed at both reminding Boards they exist to serve...

What Condo Bylaws Matter the Most

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Everyone gets a copy of their Association Bylaws both when they put an offer in for a Condo and after they close.  Too often, this is the first and last time Owners think about their Bylaws – until the Association does something they don’t like.  People don’t fully appreciate (and perhaps, real estate agents don’t fully make clear) the depth of the legal covenant you’re agreeing to when you...

Buying Pools: Save Money for Your Condo Association and Be an Unsung Hero

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A Condo Association often has maintenance activities that are not covered by the Association but nonetheless are quite important.  Things like HVAC inspections, dryer vent cleaning, etc. – all should be done on a regular maintenance schedule.  This lead Owners to ask a logical question of our Board – can we organize a shared buying pool, where many units go in on the same service to...

The Top Four Most Useful Board Member Professions

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Condo Boards come in all shapes and sizes and are made up of a wide variety of characters.  Boards are volunteer entities, meaning that everyone typically has a day job of some sort.  Your Association may already pay to have various experts to help manage the building – such as engineers, management companies, lawyers, etc.  Building on that, Board members with a useful skill from their day...

Four Things to Know Before Buying a Condo Conversion

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So you’re ready to buy your new Condo, and you already read my previous article here.  However, you just learned that your new Condo is a “Conversion.”  This is where a Developer buys an apartment building and turns it into a Condo.  A building may have a prime location where it is profitable for a Developer to buy the old property and flip it into Condos.  Buying a condo conversion is more...

The Number One Reason Association Boards Break Bad

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Looking at my Twitter feed, it often feels like a parade of Association horrors.  Embezzlement, corrupt Boards who never hold elections, Associations that have underfunded reserves – it seems like a nightmare.  Yet it’s estimated a whopping 20% of people live in either a Condo Association or HOA.  How do you avoid being a victim?  Why do Association Boards Break bad? Here’s the number one...

Condo Association Committees 101

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In this week’s 101 session, we’ll be covering Condo Association Committees.  What do they do?  How do you use them?  Where do babies come from?  Scratch that last one, wrong blog.   Your Committees are typically outlined in the bylaws of your Association.  They are, as you would expect, bodies that advise and support the Board in its activities.  Since an Association is made up of...

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