Condo associations feel the heat as fees rise, values sink

  • Article by: MARY JANE SMETANKA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 12, 2011 - 10:19 AM

Economic distress is giving rise to a hostile environment in communities that supposedly rely on cooperation.

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pitythefoolsDec. 11, 11 7:52 PM

Community Development and the Board added a block party (which used to be pot luck) and a WEB SITE to our dues this year. Wow. We really NEED a website. Not to mention a block party that the Board claims will increase our property values. Right. Community Development and their Boards are out of control. I'm leading a fight to abolish the homeowners association.

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davidjb99Dec. 11, 11 8:21 PM

My wife and I just bought a condo near the MOA for investment purposes. After looking at two+ dozen condos the last four month, I found there sure are a lot of mixed bag/tattered properties out there. If you're doing to buy one for renting out, buy something that in a complex built like Fort Knox, is in a great employment location, is exceptionally well-run and has a healthy association. Otherwise, you might be signing up for trouble.

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sharkysharkDec. 11, 11 8:24 PM

Condos were a mediocre choice during the best of times. Signing a long-term contract with no ceiling on costs and no real independence is far worse than renting. In a condo or townhome development, everyone there behaves as if they own a piece of your place and want control over your use of the property. At the price of a stand-alone house today there's no reason to live in a big "filing cabinet".

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fwallenDec. 11, 11 8:30 PM

I've been looking at condos in the metro area and the asn fees are outrageous. Most include lawn maintain, snow removal, garbage, and insurance on common ground plus the most expensive and least needed "professional management". Costs typically run from 250 to500 per month with properties that include party rooms, workout rooms, and pools much higher. We live in an association on a lake in Northern Minnesota. We have been run by a resident board for twenty years and pay $120 per month which includes, lawn care, snow plowing and shoveling, raking, tree removal, road maintenance, insurance, taxes on common ground, dead tree removal, roof gutter leaf removal, and dock setting and removal. There is no justification for the high rates some people pay

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pressure123Dec. 11, 11 8:33 PM

Hey pitythefools, why dont you contact your board. they are the ones that decide on the budget. Better yet why dont you get on the board and see what it is really about. The management company works at the boards direction. Get a clue.

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t_stevensDec. 11, 11 8:43 PM

"No rental" policy here should be fought. Of course that rule brings down property values. Dumb idea.

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pressure123Dec. 11, 11 8:44 PM

Empty units, foreclosures and residents who are frustrated that association dues are increasing even as home values sag have put associations and the residents they serve at loggerheads. In Hopkins, residents have sued the state's largest homeowners association, charging mismanagement. In Eden Prairie, a man fought his association for the right to have birdhouses. Some cash-strapped homeowners have simply stopped paying their association dues RIGHT HERE IN THE ARTICLE IT SAYS IT ALL! If people decide to stop paying dues then the Association is forced to come up with the money to provide services to the rest of the residents by increasing dues on all. It is simple economics that makes this happen. You cant run an association at a loss. You have to look at the financial statements of the Association. If some are not paying, the others have to make up the difference. Period! You cant run an Asssociation like the government.

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rockanatreeDec. 11, 11 8:57 PM

Associations are run by power hungry losers who want to control others.

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bwikDec. 11, 11 9:00 PM

On the lower end, I am seeing examples where taxes = association fees and each of those is nearly as much as the mortgage. Suddenly the mortgage is not even your major expense. This type of clowning with taxes and assn fees can drive property values straight to zero. Literally, I have seen condos that are worth nothing, considering the city and association want $800 from you each month.

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thomas1cliccDec. 11, 11 9:16 PM

With the price of homes being this low, there's really no reason to buy a townhouse over a single family home. Add in the baggage of assoc fees and you're paying as much or more than a single family home and you won't even have to deal with the crappy association rules.

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