CategoryTips for Owners

This category is aimed at owners.

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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...

Thoughts on a Condo Association Employee Holiday Fund


Tis the season for giving!  I’ve alluded to the fact before that my building is pretty big compared to many Associations.  We have a sizeable staff when you include management, maintenance, housekeeping, etc.  For as long as I can remember, our building has had a condo association employee holiday fund.  It isn’t organized by the Board – a number of Owners have historically organized it...

Four Things to Watch Out for When Buying a New Condo


Buying a new condo, whether the building is newly constructed or a conversion is a goal for many buyers – for starters, the condo has that “new car smell.”  There are many good lists out there for tips on buying Condos in general – here’s a recent one I really liked – but new construction (or conversions) carry additional risks that you should be aware of...

How to Email your Condo Association to Get Results


Continuing this week’s theme of communications, today I’m going to give Owners some tips on how to email your condo association in a positive and effective way to get the results you want.  Bad stuff happens in home ownership – whether a house, townhouse, or condo.  With a regular house, if something breaks, you have the responsibility to fix it – pretty straightforward.  In an...

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