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JohnMtl
01-21-2019, 07:01 PM
Is there a group in Aruba that represents condo associations?


Thanks!

John

robin
01-21-2019, 08:09 PM
Represents condo associations legally? I'm not sure what you mean. Once I know I can ask one of our board members and/or the property manager.

JohnMtl
01-21-2019, 08:28 PM
Not necessarily legally, but a group where a few associations can compare notes on dealing with various issues, benchmark against each other and approach authorities as a group if there are requests to be made.

We had something similar in Florida.

robin
02-07-2019, 07:16 AM
I am sorry that I did not get back to you sooner. I did ask over a week ago, but the internet was down for several hours(that's why I was in the office) and totally forgot when it came back one because of texts that came in.

Any way, there is a hotel and tourism group. Amy did not know about anything specific for condo and she is the property managers assistant. Here is info from their web page.

About AHATAAHATA is a non-profit association powered by its members. The 100-member companies run the breath of the tourism industry, from large hotel properties and timeshare resorts to activity companies and small service providers. The combined strength and knowledge of our members enables AHATA to move forward in enacting positive change within the industry.

JohnMtl
02-07-2019, 08:09 AM
Thanks!

SunnyAruba2018
09-16-2019, 01:08 PM
do you have any idea if condo fees go up in aruba...this is a typical practice in the states....and just trying to see how likely it is that it goes up...

JohnMtl
09-16-2019, 01:20 PM
do you have any idea if condo fees go up in aruba...this is a typical practice in the states....and just trying to see how likely it is that it goes up...

Condo fees are based on the condo association’s operating budget.
In that respect Aruba condos are no different than any other condo in the US or elsewhere.

It all all comes down to controllable expenses (how the property is managed) and non-controllable expenses such as taxes.
I was the president of a condo association in Florida for a period of 10 years.
Over that period of time we brought our fees down significantly and managed to keep them low even while increasing our reserves.

SunnyAruba2018
09-16-2019, 01:44 PM
Thanks, I was thinking that might be the case...just helps to have that validation that the HOA fees will likely go up and up. And it is confirmed that non-resident property taxes have gone up from 0.4% to 0.6%? I read that online in the forum somewhere, but havent seen any other info on that....

schexc
09-16-2019, 01:48 PM
Yes, the property taxes did go up. Our HOA has been the same for the last three years.


Thanks, I was thinking that might be the case...just helps to have that validation that the HOA fees will likely go up and up. And it is confirmed that non-resident property taxes have gone up from 0.4% to 0.6%? I read that online in the forum somewhere, but havent seen any other info on that....

JohnMtl
09-16-2019, 01:55 PM
Hi Schexc,

I’m compiling a list of Aruba condominiums and their contacts so that we can work together to benchmark and have a common voice when dealing with governments or other entities. Can I add you to the list?

if so, please send me your contact details via direct message.

‘Thanks!

John

robin
09-16-2019, 01:59 PM
Like anywhere else prices go up. We own a condo in Aruba and one at the shore near us. In Aruba, we have had small increases to cover salary increases, taxes, rate hikes in utilities-especially trash pick up, etc. We also had a small decrease. We had a small special assessment to install solar panels and the electricity savings will off set our monthly fees for years. They do a good job managing cost and are creative, such as, the condensation water that comes off the individual AC units(just our building) is piped into the water tank holding tank for the sprinkler system. Face it, you can either pay higher monthly condo fees and have smaller special assessments or lower fees and higher assessments. It's like owning a home, you must maintain it and cost to do so always rise. Also remember Aruba is a salty, humid, and windy climate so things do not last as long and it is expensive to bring in materials.

The condo we own at the shore is a prime example. I bought it 6 years ago and I make settlement Friday. I have been board president for 4 years and I see the handwriting on the wall. While the long term board that was in power(all have sold and/or died) before I bought kept fees low, but neglected many things. They did have special assessments, but due to complaints they always went with the lowest bid and now we are dealing with the issues they left behind. I can't wait to walk out with my check on Friday.

JohnMtl
09-16-2019, 02:11 PM
This is exactly why having properly calculated reserves is important.
With an adequate reserve fund there should be no special assessments (in theory).

Not only are special assessments a costly annoyance, they end up creating delinquencies because not all owners can afford them.
‘That creates a double whammy because then the rest of the owners have to pay for those who can’t.

robin
09-16-2019, 02:42 PM
Theory is great, but reality is reality. We had major unforeseen erosion issue at our shore place and we need a special assessment to cover the cost because it would have wiped out the reserve. Now there are issues with the roof because those who were in charge 12 years ago did not do things right. They figured that the guys said the roof would be good for 50 years, they'd base the reserve on needing a roof in 50 years not taking into consideration that the last two roofs did not last the 20 or 25 years quoted because of the salty, humid climate at the Jersey shore.

I look at it this way-you pay higher monthly condo fees or you pay special assessments.



This is exactly why having properly calculated reserves is important.
With an adequate reserve fund there should be no special assessments (in theory).

Not only are special assessments a costly annoyance, they end up creating delinquencies because not all owners can afford them.
‘That creates a double whammy because then the rest of the owners have to pay for those who can’t.

JohnMtl
09-16-2019, 03:03 PM
Theory is great, but reality is reality. We had major unforeseen erosion issue at our shore place and we need a special assessment to cover the cost because it would have wiped out the reserve. Now there are issues with the roof because those who were in charge 12 years ago did not do things right. They figured that the guys said the roof would be good for 50 years, they'd base the reserve on needing a roof in 50 years not taking into consideration that the last two roofs did not last the 20 or 25 years quoted because of the salty, humid climate at the Jersey shore.

I look at it this way-you pay higher monthly condo fees or you pay special assessments.

Thats why I wrote “in theory” and “properly calculated”.
In Florida we always hired a Certified Reserve Specialist to calculate the reserve study and revised it every 5 years.

SunnyAruba2018
09-16-2019, 03:22 PM
and actually schex - question....does the developer still rule the HOA? Or has it be turned over officially to the owners? Sometimes developers keep the fees low (for sales purposes) but then when others open the books/reserves, they then realize they need to up the fees....thx!

JohnMtl
09-16-2019, 03:34 PM
and actually schex - question....does the developer still rule the HOA? Or has it be turned over officially to the owners? Sometimes developers keep the fees low (for sales purposes) but then when others open the books/reserves, they then realize they need to up the fees....thx!

Good point!

schexc
09-16-2019, 04:11 PM
What a coincidence . I just received an email for our upcoming HOA meeting addressed To All Owner's of the HOA Association The Pearl II. We will be on the island during that time so we'll see what's up and coming. TBC...


and actually schex - question....does the developer still rule the HOA? Or has it be turned over officially to the owners? Sometimes developers keep the fees low (for sales purposes) but then when others open the books/reserves, they then realize they need to up the fees....thx!

robin
09-16-2019, 05:07 PM
I know. Our huge erosion issue was something no one saw coming and could not have predicted and a lot had to do with the unusual construction of the building. We've had engineers and architects look at various elements and just shake their heads how the building was built in 1974. There are going to be huge amounts of $$$ needed in probably the next 10 years and I want no parts of that. That is one reason I am selling.



Thats why I wrote “in theory” and “properly calculated”.
In Florida we always hired a Certified Reserve Specialist to calculate the reserve study and revised it every 5 years.

JohnMtl
09-16-2019, 07:02 PM
I know. Our huge erosion issue was something no one saw coming and could not have predicted and a lot had to do with the unusual construction of the building. We've had engineers and architects look at various elements and just shake their heads how the building was built in 1974. There are going to be huge amounts of $$$ needed in probably the next 10 years and I want no parts of that. That is one reason I am selling.

Wow! Scary.
Sounds like you were lucky to get out.

Aruba4ever
09-18-2019, 10:56 PM
I look at it like this. Would you rather pay for your car repairs in advance or wait till they happen? Reserves are the same thing as paying your repairs in advance. The owners pay the reserves....its not free, there is NO savings at all. I myself much rather keep my own money and have it invested and deal with the the special assessments as they happen. I also equate it to paying taxes in advance...I rather keep my money and owe the government.....just my thoughts on this situation.

My other thought is Robin is spot on. Enjoy owning in Aruba guys!

This is exactly why having properly calculated reserves is important.
With an adequate reserve fund there should be no special assessments (in theory).

Not only are special assessments a costly annoyance, they end up creating delinquencies because not all owners can afford them.
‘That creates a double whammy because then the rest of the owners have to pay for those who can’t.

JohnMtl
09-19-2019, 01:32 AM
I look at it like this. Would you rather pay for your car repairs in advance or wait till they happen? Reserves are the same thing as paying your repairs in advance. The owners pay the reserves....its not free, there is NO savings at all. I myself much rather keep my own money and have it invested and deal with the the special assessments as they happen. I also equate it to paying taxes in advance...I rather keep my money and owe the government.....just my thoughts on this situation.

My other thought is Robin is spot on. Enjoy owning in Aruba guys!

I don’t pay for my car repairs in advance either. However, the big difference is that when my car breaks down I don’t have to collect money from anyone else in order to get it back on the road.

I’ve seen too many situations where owners can’t afford a special assessment and not only do they stiff the association for the assessment but since they know there will be a lien put on their unit, they stop paying their condo fees as well. So, the rest of the owners get stuck paying someone else’s share of the assessment, several months of condo fees and the association ends up incurring legal costs.

That’s where your savings are.

Also, a condo with reserves makes it more attractive to buyers as well. Especially if it’s an older building.
At our Florida condo we lost out on some great potential owners because their bank refused to give them a mortgage on an older building without adequate reserves.

robin
09-19-2019, 09:57 AM
I don’t pay for my car repairs in advance either. However, the big difference is that when my car breaks down I don’t have to collect money from anyone else in order to get it back on the road.

I’ve seen too many situations where owners can’t afford a special assessment and not only do they stiff the association for the assessment but since they know there will be a lien put on their unit, they stop paying their condo fees as well. So, the rest of the owners get stuck paying someone else’s share of the assessment, several months of condo fees and the association ends up incurring legal costs.

That’s where your savings are.

Also, a condo with reserves makes it more attractive to buyers as well. Especially if it’s an older building.
At our Florida condo we lost out on some great potential owners because their bank refused to give them a mortgage on an older building without adequate reserves.

At our place in NJ everyone feels differently about this. We have owners who want low monthly fees and don't mind an assessment(it is usually broken down over time and added to their monthly fee). Others would rather pay more every month than get hit with the special assessment. When we had the erosion issue, we did have enough in our reserve to pay for it, but added in a special assessment, payable with their monthly fees over a 12 month period to build our reserve back to where it was. Right now our reserve is better than it has ever been, but IMO it is not enough. Most of our owners are really good about paying monthly and were good about the special assessment. We have those few, who get behind a few months, a letter goes out threatening legal action and they pay what they owe plus the late fee. But there is that one owner that I have no words for-the short of it is she has had many legal actions(from liens to judgements to bank levies, etc.) taken against her over the 12 years she has owned it since her mother's passing. I'll be done with all of that in 29 hours hopefully.

Oceania in Aruba does it right. You get behind more than a month, they turn off the water to your unit. They don't care if someone is in there or not. I wish we could do that here in NJ.

JohnMtl
09-20-2019, 01:17 AM
Oceania in Aruba does it right. You get behind more than a month, they turn off the water to your unit. They don't care if someone is in there or not. I wish we could do that here in NJ.

Thats the way to do it!
The longer you wait the greater the chance of never collecting and having to foreclose.
In Florida I had installed an electronic access system for the main doors as well as for the shopping carts, gym and pool areas.
If fees were over 60 days late they would lose access to the carts, gym and pool area. But what really made people pay up was when we’d cut the cable TV.