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Thread: Condo Association Group

  1. #11
    Senior Member robin's Avatar
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    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.




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  2. #12
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    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.
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  3. #13
    Senior Member robin's Avatar
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    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.


    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMtl View Post
    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.




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  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by robin View Post
    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.
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  5. #15
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    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!
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  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by SunnyAruba2018 View Post
    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!
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  7. #17
    Senior Member schexc's Avatar
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    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...

    Quote Originally Posted by SunnyAruba2018 View Post
    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!




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  8. #18
    Senior Member robin's Avatar
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    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.


    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMtl View Post
    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.




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  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by robin View Post
    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.
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  10. #20
    Senior Member Aruba4ever's Avatar
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    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!
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMtl View Post
    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.

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