Sunday, August 17, 2008

Condo Hell

I imagine this sort of thing is incredibly common but you don't read about it all that much.

After years of deferred maintenance, compounded by tightfisted members' unwillingness to pay higher monthly fees, condominium associations are facing a looming financial crisis, condo experts say.

“In order to maintain the assets, you have to have long-term thinking, but what we've seen is short-term people not planning for long-term futures,” said Karen Conlon, president of the California Association of Community Managers.

When repeated Band-Aid fixes no longer suffice, condominium owners find themselves on the hook for hefty special assessments, sometimes in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Increasingly, homeowner groups are having to take out loans to soften the blow of high levies.