Re: Transition from developer
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Mon, 11 Jan 2021 07:27:04 -0800 (PST)
> On Jan 11, 2021, at 1:51 AM, Ann Zabaldo <zabaldo [at]> wrote:

>>  - What do you wish your community had thought of, at the time of this
>>  transition?

> Had a better idea of the workload of caring for a multimillion dollar 
> facility.

In addition to Ann’s recommendations, I recommend finding a condo manager to 
walk through the property/plans to tell you what you need to know/find out. Pay 
for an hour or two of their time as a consultant.

We had no idea what had to be inspected and when, when invisible 
plumbing-related things had to be cleaned or how. What bad can happen, what to 
watch for, etc. Stuff that a developer or architect may not realize you don’t 
know or doesn’t know themselves. 

We did NOT find that our management company at the time did any proactive 
advising like this. They were particularly bad but others have not either. They 
respond to questions and we had not a clue what to ask.

What happened? A person showed up one day and started shutting down the 
elevator because we hadn’t had it inspected or showed up to collect $2,000 
right now for fees that we hadn’t paid when we had not a clue it was necessary. 
Or to shut off the utilities because a bill hadn’t been paid in 3 months — 
meaning figure out where your mail should be addressed so you can pay your 
bills. And when you change treasurers, be sure the new one knows to check the 
mailbox and has the key.

And if you have only 3 people who can sign checks, don’t let them all go to 
Europe in the same month.

One reason to be transparent and over communicate rather than being “efficient” 
is that you will need things forgotten by one person to be remembered by 
another. Self-management means all 50 selves need to know what is going on, at 
least in some vague way. 

Property Managers go to professional programs or spend years working under 
someone before they assume responsibility for multi-million $ multi-household 

Not trying to scare you — everyone has lived through this. Just be prepared. 
Don’t panic.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.