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News Roundup: FHA Rules Changes and Denver Protects Developers at the Expense of Owners

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There were two big pieces of news which made the rounds in the condo/HOA world over the past month that I want to touch on briefly. FHA Rules Changes For the story itself, Gregory Karp has a good writeup in the Chicago Tribune. For a critical column on these changes, check out Kenneth Harney in the Seattle Times Notable in these changes was the expansion of “owners” to include second homes and...

The Top Three Priorities for Condo Associations

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Sometimes it seems that everything related to a Condo Association sucks.  If you’re an Owner, the Association seems out to get you at every turn.  If you’re a Board member, it feels like the building is full of whiners and every vendor wants to screw you.  For Management, it can seem like every Owner is intent on doing dumb things and your Board is out of control.  It can be easy to lose sight of...

Condo Association Finances 101

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Time for a quick and dirty lesson on Condo Association finances.  There are three things that are the core of Condo finances: income, operating expenses, and reserves.  The goal of every Condo is to have income exceeding expenses and reserves, but not by too much, or you’re overcharging the Owners.  On the other hand, if you run too much of a deficit, you’re likely underfunding reserves, which...

How to Identify what Maintenance you are Responsible for in a Condo

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In all likelihood, you pay a ton of condo fees every month, and that makes you think, “My maintenance is covered, I don’t have to do anything!”  This may be a dangerous and incorrect assumption.  Like everything else in your Condo life, what is and is not covered is completely dependent on what is in your Bylaws.  You may, in fact, not need to worry about anything.  On the other hand, you might...

Who are the Players in a Condo Association?

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I refer to the “big three” of condo associations often: Owners, Board, and Management.  As a point of intent, this blog is expressly targeted at providing advice to each of these groups and how they deal with each other.  But who are they, and what do they do?  Here’s a quick breakdown of the players in a condo association. Owners These are the individuals who own a condo and make up the...

How to Manage a Difficult Condo Board Member

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This article is targeted at my fellow board members out there, but others may find this a useful insight to the joys of being on a condo board.  Most Condo Boards are decently run, but their reputation for pettiness is often well-founded.  The saying “The emotions are so high because the stakes are so low” always makes me chuckle because it is so accurate.  That said, if you’re on a Board, likely...

Four Tips to Being a Responsible Condo Owner

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Living in a Condo means that you have to be a responsible condo owner in you Association.  Many of the most common issues I see as a Board member are because people don’t follow these basic rules.  Who can blame them?  Associations are nebulous things — there to be ignored until you have a problem, want something from them, or they want something from you.       That’s one way to look at...

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