Re: Re: Cohousing-L Digest, Vol 25, Issue 3
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Sun, 5 Feb 2006 10:23:11 -0800 (PST)

On Feb 5, 2006, at 12:54 PM, Mary English wrote:

We contracted for and are about to receive a preliminary reserve study.
  We paid a team of engineers and reserve analysts a flat fee to
complete the work

We are just contacting for a second reserve study (first was 5 years ago). We will most probably go with a full study again which is bid at $5490 for a 43 unit condo type facility with commonhouse. An update of the first study was quoted at $3400. The more expensive study is by a different company than we used the first time and they do a more detailed analysis, plus they do maintenance recommendations. Fees may be less in less urban areas.

Maintenance recommendations are also very important if you have things like storm drains, sewage ejectors, sump pumps, elevators, sprinkler systems, etc. We had frustrating upfront emergencies just because we had no idea what we were supposed to do once we had the property.

Unless you have highly trained people in your complex or it consists of a simple lot development infrastructure, I highly recommend such a study. Ours saved us thousands of dollars ($72,000?) in repairs that the contractor and developer had to pay instead of us. Many of these were things we would never have discovered and of which our developer was unaware. Subcontractors do all sorts of crazy stuff (and yes we had construction supervisors onsite).

Such a study looks for code violations, structural imperfections, insufficiencies in HVAC systems, etc. They are in effect second opinions. When a $5,000 study saves you $72,000 plus tons of down the road problems, It's a good deal.

The Community Association Institute has lists of certified reserve analysts all over the country.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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