Fundraising or Cut Back ideas
November 17, 2008 1:09 PM Subscribe
Condo Association wants to hit us with a special assessment that is almost $4000 EACH due to the repair of rotten wood trim on the outside of the buildings. Ideas on fundraising or cutting costs?
posted by vermontlife to Work & Money (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This past summer it was discovered that there was extensive damage to the exterior of our Townhouses due to crappy building construction. We are now all being asked to pay for the repairs, which is going to run each home owner close to $4000.00. Needless to say this is MIND BOGGLINGLY frustrating in these tight financial times. I’d like to find an alternative to having to fork over this money. I seem to remember a similar post to Metafilter, but I can’t find it by searching. In the previous post there were some interesting fundraising ideas to help lower the costs. Below is an email that was just sent out with the Association Board’s response to a number of suggestions. The meeting to discuss this is 11/20. Any ideas?? Please?? I’ll be checking back regularly, so if more info is needed… please ask.
Hello fellow Homeowners.
You are all aware there is a meeting this Thursday night to discuss and vote on a significant new special assessment. Since the information packet was distributed, we have received suggestions and alternative proposals from some homeowners. We would like to inform you of alternatives that have been submitted and offer a few observations. These are presented in the order received.
1.Pay it all now. One homeowner commented we were risking too much to allow the reserves to be low for so long and suggested we ask those that can pay it in full now, to do so. Use a payment plan suggested by the board for those who indicate a hardship which prevents them from paying it up front. This improves the likelihood that money for repairs would be available during the summer construction season and allows the reserves to be replaced more quickly. They express the concern that resale value on their home would be adversely affected by having no money in the reserves.
2 . A second homeowner mailed an anonymous letter to many of the homeowners in the neighborhood. This letter states that many of us are already feeling financial pressure and this will add to it. There is no question about that. The sender indicates that with appropriate personnel looking into the cost of repairs, a substantial savings can be made. What is meant by “appropriate personnel”? Is the sender suggesting they have the needed skill and are volunteering, or are they suggesting we pay someone, at an additional cost, to do that? We ask the sender to please clarify.
3. Bring suit against Effing Jerks Construction Inc. (EJCI). A third homeowner suggests that this amount of serious deterioration is far greater than what would be expected to occur in such a short time (we agree!) and we should consider going back after the developer. The board has actually considered this several times over the past few months and
has not yet come away with this as our recommendation. There are many things to be considered here. We did file suit against the developer one previous time and settled out of court. It is likely that would prevent us from going back against them. If we did move forward on a suit, It would cost money to hire a lawyer to see if we have a case we can win. It would cost money to hire construction experts to provide expert testimony that what we consider bad construction, really is. We run the risk of EJCI saying OK, you win but instead of giving you any money we will come fix it for you. But they have shown on units they have previously attempted to repair that their repair work is no better than the original construction. The expense to pursue legal action against EJCI is significant and comes with no guarantee we would receive anything in return. The Board does not recommend pursuing legal action against EJCI for these reasons.
4. Extend the payments over a longer time. A fourth homeowner suggested we collect a smaller amount of money per month for a longer term doing some construction in 2009 and the rest in 2010. They recommend we leave the reserves low for this longer period and then assess what is needed to replace the reserves with collection of funds in 2011 and 2012. This would make it easier to pay but it would allow another year for rotten wood to worsen and would leave us at risk of not having the reserves if something should happen. Keep in mind that we have depleted the existing reserves and they would remain unfunded while we concentrated on repairs. Existing long term plans would have assumed we were funding reserves during this period.
5. Cut back in other areas. A fifth homeowner suggested we look at ways to cut back in other areas. For example, instead of weekly garbage pickup at each unit, change to less frequent pickup at a central dumpster.
6. Insurance. We spoke with one homeowner who has experience as an insurance adjuster as to the ways this might be considered under an insurance claim. We also spoke to our insurance agent and we found this would not be covered under insurance.