|Re: What SHOULD I be worried about?||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Katie Henry (katie-henryatt.net)|
|Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2014 21:40:34 -0700 (PDT)|
At my former community, the developer gave the community a pot of money for common house furnishings and other miscellaneous move-in expenses. It was in the range of $20,000 (same developer as Sharon's community, so that amount would make sense). It was a good idea, since there's no way we could have raised that kind of money from the community right after move-in. It wasn't considered to be part of the reserve fund. Our estimated budget from the developer was pretty bare-bones, covering just utilities, condo insurance, and a few other things. It didn't include maintenance contracts or reserve fund contributions, which now make up half or more of the annual budget, as I recall. I think these minimal budgets are normal in the condo world, or at least in Maryland. The condo association orders the reserve study and determines funding levels after move-in, so that figure gets added later. A lot of maintenance contracts don't kick in until a year or two after occupancy, so the developer would logically not include those costs. Also, in cohousing, there's a possibility that the community will take over some chores rather than vending out work, so it would be difficult for a developer to know what costs to include. When we moved in, we knew our condo fees were low and would have to go up, but we had no idea how much. The uncertainty was hard for a lot of people. Our management company was useless, so we had no guidance. If I had it to do again, I would start the budgeting process early in construction. I would: (1) Collect a special assessment from the future owners well before move-in and commission a first pass of the reserve study so we would have early and reasonable estimates of reserve contributions. (I would do that as part of hiring a construction advocate to monitor construction on behalf of the community, but that's a different topic.) (2) Get estimates for contracts for every conceivable service, including maintenance and repair, landscaping, and cleaning, and include those numbers in the budget. (3) Have all of those contracts in place at move-in, including the optional ones for services like landscaping and cleaning that community members might handle themselves. Once everyone has moved in and workshare arrangements are in place (or not), the optional contracts can be discontinued if the community would prefer to save the money. Katie Henry
- Re: What SHOULD I be worried about?, (continued)
Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.