Does Your Condo Have a Pot Problem?

Many of the new condos (and apartments) ban smoking but some of the older buildings do not. Or they ban it in the common areas, but not in units. So what to do if your building has a smoking or pot problem? Fortunately the Washington Post dug into this issue today: How should condos regulate… Read More

Rental Cap Voting Req. Now Possibly 90%

If your condo building doesn’t have a rental cap and is considering imposing one you want to pay attention to this September 4th supreme court opinion [pdf] which says you may need a super majority, so 90% of homeowners voting in favor, instead of 67%. We were tipped off about the opinion from the Seattle… Read More

Lake Cabin in Seattle

After a hard day at work, go home to this darling Lake Washington cabin.  Built in 1911, it’s part of the historic Lake Washington Beach Cottages.  Listed for $380,00, unit 1505F at 1501 Lake Washington Blvd is a completely renovated cabin that has 1 bedroom, 0.75 bathroom, with 459 sq ft of living space. It… Read More

How Do Your HOA Dues Compare?

Yalnes, an Urbnlivn advertiser, sent me a slide deck with some numbers on their business, which included some industry numbers I thought some of you might find interesting: $0.64 is the average monthly assessment owners in Seattle pay to their Condominium Associations per square foot $0.52 is the average monthly assessment owners in Puget Sound… Read More

Holy Homeowners Dues…

A cool penthouse unit at the Lumen that has seen its price ride the roller coaster of the market is available for $699,000. That is a jump from the last recorded price of $553,000 when it sold a year ago but a major bargain compared to the 2008 price of $1.25 million. Yet, in deciding… Read More

Ever Wonder Why Everything Is By Mail?

Here’s a guest post from Sergey Petrov of Yalnes, a condo management firm and Urbnlivn advertiser. Do you ever wonder why Community Associations (and/or management companies) send everything by mail? It seems just about everybody is on email these days… Unfortunately, legislation has not yet quite caught up with modern technology and official / formal… Read More

FHA Rule Change

A few weeks ago, the Seattle Times published an article on headaches. Oh, actually it was about what might be causing those headaches for condo buyers and sellers: recent FHA rule changes. Is a little-publicized switch in federal mortgage policy causing huge problems for condominium sellers, buyers and homeowner-association boards across the country — even… Read More

Educational Event for HOA’s | Sept 24

Only 5 days until Community Association Day 2011! Communi-what?! That’s right, if your homeowner’s association, your HOA, your condo board, or whatever you want to call it needs a little refresher in their actual power & duties, resolving disputes, regaining FHA approval for the building, collecting delinquent dues, or a whole lot of other topics… Read More

Reader Question: Management Companies and Financial Reporting

Question from a reader about management companies and financial reports: Since you seem to be fairly in the loop with regards to condos & management, I thought I’d ask you for advice. As the treasurer of our HOA, I get to audit their monthly financial reports on the building. Asking for any changes to our… Read More

Property Management Companies Matter

It’s interesting to contrast the customer service of the two different condo management companies I have to deal with. For both units I’ve needed additional garage door fobs. With Madrona who manages Trace Lofts I’ve been able to get fobs the next day when they have them in stock (they’re also conveniently located a block… Read More

Sharpen Your HOA Skills

For all you HOA board members and community managers you might be interested in this event that is geared towards challenges condo & homeowner associations are facing during the recession. Local attorneys will be presenting educational sessions. Cost to attend is $60, which includes educational seminars, lunch, and social networking reception at the end of… Read More

What’s Your Buildings Rental Cap?

Trace Lofts is looking at a rental cap and we’re curious to know what other condo buildings are capped at. If you know please leave a comment (yes we could spend hours holed up in the library looking through the public condo docs but that seems like a lot of work.) As well I’d be… Read More

Condos That Have Had a Substantial Re-Model?

I recently received an email from a reader whose condo is facing a major re-model and wondering if there are other buildings that have gone through something similar: I am working on a cost benefit analysis that will (hopefully) illustrate the feasibility of the project. In doing so, I am trying to identify condominium projects… Read More

Reserve Studies to Be Required

This weekend the Seattle Times reports that New state law requires condo associations to report money set aside for long-term maintenance: Calling it the “biggest thing to happen since the Condominium Act of 1990 was passed,” longtime condo attorney Kris Sundberg says the new provisions will address “the dirty little secret of the condo world:… Read More

10 things a HOA won’t tell you

Yahoo Finance has as a rather alarmist article on 10 Things a Homeowners Association Won’t Tell You (via Galen). They are: “We Can’t Wait to Get Our Hands on Your Money — Or Even Your Home.” “We’re More Secretive Than the CIA.” “When in Doubt, We Sue.” “You Won’t Be Able to Sell When You… Read More

Homeowner’s Dues

The Redfin Seattle Sweet Dig’s blog has a post about The Scoop on Homeowner’s Dues. The other thing I’m starting to do is collect the amount of HOA’s per square feet new developments are charging. If you know of any for the condos on our list let me know and I’ll add them to the… Read More

Health of an HOA?

JD asked me today ‘do you know of any ways to assess the health of a condo home owner’s association?’ and I thought I’d throw this question out to the readers since you probably have much better suggestions than I do (actually I don’t have any.)