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Are Hard Times Hitting Your Home?

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  avharris wrote @

Between 1996 and 2009, my maintenance has risen from $200 to $450. For me, the thing I despise most is the fact that it was raised once to allegedly save for a new elevator. Turns out a new one wasn’t needed but they kept the rate jacked up without ever explaining why. We are AOAO so I asked at an owners meeting. You wouldn’t believe the cold stares I got!

  exbor wrote @

avharris: Thanks for stopping by and the comment. I guess I should try to get on the board to make sure we are justified in asking for higher fees. I think we are saving up for something, so let’s hope my AOAO doesn’t do the same as yours.

  laurelle wrote @

Wow. You had my sympathies until I saw that your utilities are included!

My guess is that your aoao may still be operating in the red. The drop in fuel costs may balance things out by the end of its fiscal year. Or they may need to increase again in 2010 to make up for the difference, or fuel cost increases, since the price of oil WILL go up again.

So… before making a decision about moving, I’d check on cost-saving moves, switching common area lighting to lower wattage. Shutting down all but one elevator between 10pm and 5am, etc.

Then I’d check, what the fees are in comp units? If they are lower, would you be able to sell yours? If they are the same, why would you sell yours/move? And you have to calc in the costs for moving, points and so forth.

But aside from that, a move lets you be a slum lord (if rent about covers your costs), take advantage of low mortgage rates, buyer’s market, possibility of getting a larger place suitable for starting a family (like how I just assume that? but you might want to think 5-10 years out), finding a greener place, etc. Oh, and avoiding subsidizing free-riders who use a lot more electricity than others– unless, of course, that describes YOU! 🙂

  exbor wrote @

laurelle: Thanks for those great suggestions! I’m going to try to get on the board and make these suggestions. Actually, I’ll share them whether I get on the AOAO board or not.

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