Florida Condo Opinions/Questions

Bernardo de la Paz

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How could I forget @NVGator and @bradgator2's daughter?!

:lol:
 

NVGator

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Well, I am smack in the middle of it at the moment. My closing date is the 14th of April and I'll be talking to my lender and RE agent tomorrow. Any thoughts would be appreciated. My gut is telling me to negotiate % for closing costs back to compensate for me having to come up with the additional down payment.

Again, my big concern is how the new Fannie/Freddie requirements will impact the condo market going forward.

Dude, there’s nothing new about Freddie or Fannie. You’ve obviously established it’s an investment property which changes your LTV and no longer putting down minimal therefore at least 20%.
:
This clearly isn’t a primary residence so that changes things but you didn’t ask me for a referral so best of luck.
 

Alumni Guy

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Ask yourself: Why are they refusing to answer it?

The answer is that deferred maintenance probably hasn’t been done. Unlike counties in South Florida, Volusia county does not require condos to get certified every 40 years to ensure their structural integrity.

Id bet that the common elements/shared infrastructure has probably been ignored, which is why the association is hesitant to answer the question.

On a related note, after Surfside tragedy, Tally was bouncing around proposed legislation that would require 40 year (or more frequent) certifications statewide. That legislation failed this session. https://amp.tallahassee.com/amp/7026027001

H
owever, if it passes next year, you’ll probably be on hook for hefty special assessment.
 

cartman302

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Ask yourself: Why are they refusing to answer it?

The answer is that deferred maintenance probably hasn’t been done. Unlike counties in South Florida, Volusia county does not require condos to get certified every 40 years to ensure their structural integrity.

Id bet that the common elements/shared infrastructure has probably been ignored, which is why the association is hesitant to answer the question.

On a related note, after Surfside tragedy, Tally was bouncing around proposed legislation that would require 40 year (or more frequent) certifications statewide. That legislation failed this session. Lawmakers unable to find common ground on reforms after deadly Surfside condo collapse

H
owever, if it passes next year, you’ll probably be on hook for hefty special assessment.


As I understand it, many condo associations are refusing to answer the questionnaires- there are articles out there to substantiate that.

The condo does have deferred maintenance- it's been addressed prior to me going under contract, and the special assessments have been voted on and approved by the board. I'm ok with that- what I'm noodling in my head is how these new(ish) regs are going to affect Florida's condo market; it's already sky-high.

Thanks for the input, I appreciate it!
 

AlexDaGator

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Roofs are a big issue, but with beach side condos, you also have to be concerned about balconies, glass/sliders, parking garage, and amenities.

In older condos, it is common for the rebar in concrete balconies to corrode and that is really, really expensive to fix. Same thing with parking garages, if the rebar rusts, you have a massive headache. Glass/sliders are easier and cheaper but that's relatively speaking, it can still be very expensive.

Condos do what is called a "reserve study". A company comes in and looks at all the stuff that's covered by deferred maintenance (reserves) and figures out the remaining life expectancy and the estimated replacement costs. Typically includes pavement (parking lot), roofs, exterior paint, amenities such as the pool deck and the pool itself, glass/sliders (if they are a condo responsibility instead of an owner responsibility), etc. It usually doesn't include the parking garage or balconies.

Have the seller ask for a copy of the reserve study and for a copy of the financial records. He should get them within 10 days. Compare what's in the reserve study to how much money is in the reserve accounts. Then ask about things that aren't in the reserve study (are the A/C units owner or association responsibility? Have the balconies been replaced?).


Alex.
 

NVGator

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Roofs are a big issue, but with beach side condos, you also have to be concerned about balconies, glass/sliders, parking garage, and amenities.

In older condos, it is common for the rebar in concrete balconies to corrode and that is really, really expensive to fix. Same thing with parking garages, if the rebar rusts, you have a massive headache. Glass/sliders are easier and cheaper but that's relatively speaking, it can still be very expensive.

Condos do what is called a "reserve study". A company comes in and looks at all the stuff that's covered by deferred maintenance (reserves) and figures out the remaining life expectancy and the estimated replacement costs. Typically includes pavement (parking lot), roofs, exterior paint, amenities such as the pool deck and the pool itself, glass/sliders (if they are a condo responsibility instead of an owner responsibility), etc. It usually doesn't include the parking garage or balconies.

Have the seller ask for a copy of the reserve study and for a copy of the financial records. He should get them within 10 days. Compare what's in the reserve study to how much money is in the reserve accounts. Then ask about things that aren't in the reserve study (are the A/C units owner or association responsibility? Have the balconies been replaced?).


Alex.

Any HOA does a reserve study regularly. Also, all that stuff and budgets are provided to the Buyer. It’s call a selling package.
 

Concrete Helmet

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You make an excellent point regarding the price- it is significantly lower (I believe) the condo association had been a mess prior to the last year or two. There have been assessments and I am aware of those- meaning, yes, the price is lower than comparable properties because of those issues. I believe in the future they will be sorted out, but of course, there could always be another assessment.
Not that it would tell you much about defects with the entire building but was there any sort of inspection? What did the appraisal come back at?
If I were you I would see if there are any comps available to see if other condos in the same area have been effected. Maybe something so new it hasn't hit others yet but anytime someone has lawyers advising against transparency it is for a reason.
 

AlexDaGator

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Any HOA does a reserve study regularly. Also, all that stuff and budgets are provided to the Buyer. It’s call a selling package.

Typically all you get in Florida is an estoppel letter from the Association. This tells you if there are any outstanding debts or violations, and how much the regular maintenance fee is, when it is due, and if there are any special assessments coming due in the near future. That's it--no reserve study, no copies of budgets, no financial statements, etc. unless you ask for them.


Alex.
 

Concrete Helmet

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Typically all you get in Florida is an estoppel letter from the Association. This tells you if there are any outstanding debts or violations,
After you wait forever, make 17 phone calls, 48 emails, bend over and kiss their ass 12 times and push back your closing a half dozen times and then tell the buyer it's alright if they park their moving truck in your lot and live out of it until you can give them the keys....:suicide:
 

cartman302

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Typically all you get in Florida is an estoppel letter from the Association. This tells you if there are any outstanding debts or violations, and how much the regular maintenance fee is, when it is due, and if there are any special assessments coming due in the near future. That's it--no reserve study, no copies of budgets, no financial statements, etc. unless you ask for them.


Alex.

Thanks for the replies, even Nevada's. :-)

The unit is a townhome-style, not a high-rise, which discounts the price somewhat- it's not particularly pretty from the outside, but it suits me. The roof was replaced in 2017, and I've read over the 2022 budget. IMO, they don't have enough cash in reserves. Also, they have already done the special assessment for repairs and secured funding- it amounts to $14K a unit. That cost is passed on to me (and reflects in the price). I've read the minutes of the last few meetings and I believe they are in the process of throwing the Dan Mullens out of the room and making the hard choices to get things fixed and settled.

I had it inspected gratis by a contractor friend of mine who lives in Jax. He said the place looks good, and had no issues with it.

The appraisal was dead nuts on purchase price (shocker)- the comps in the area for a 2/2.5 like that one are 100k over what I'm paying. But, these condos have lagged the market in selling price but have appreciated accordingly with the market.

Thanks again.
 

Alumni Guy

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Just be glad there are reserves. If enough members vote, reserves can be waived.

Then, those sane idiots who voted for no reserves pi$$ and moan when there’s a large special assessment for a capital expense.
 

CDGator

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Cautionary tale and I’m sure that other condo owners have more experience with this. My dad has a condo on Panama City Beach and it’s one condo of three high-rise buildings. When hurricane Michael hit there was a huge million dollar (?) deductible from the insurance that all of the owners had to pony up. It came out to several thousand dollars per owner but at least there was a large quantity of people splitting it. Anyone else have experience with hurricane deductibles?
 

LagoonGator68

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Cautionary tale and I’m sure that other condo owners have more experience with this. My dad has a condo on Panama City Beach and it’s one condo of three high-rise buildings. When hurricane Michael hit there was a huge million dollar (?) deductible from the insurance that all of the owners had to pony up. It came out to several thousand dollars per owner but at least there was a large quantity of people splitting it. Anyone else have experience with hurricane deductibles?
Standard Homeowners Condo policies in Florida covered the first $2000 of the individual’s assessment by the HOA for the hurricane deductible at the time Michael occurred, after the individual’s deductible was taken for other losses of course.
 

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