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Category Archives: condominiums

Invest now in vacation property!


In preparing for a short talk about how to convey various kinds of vacation real estate, I arrived at the unbrilliant conclusion that people make decisions to buy vacation real estate (RV lots, lake houses, timeshares) based on what they think they want at the time of purchase, with some attention, but not enough attention, to the future. A short version of my presentation is posted here.

Many decisions to purchase vacation property are made when buyers are in a state of vacation bliss, a kind of wistfulness, that makes them less critical than when they’re on their home turf. They hope the vacation property will be a place of togetherness for family and close friends, where memories are created. Perhaps it will become a retirement home, where the grandchildren will want to visit. The sales techniques for vacation property are addressed squarely at those sentiments.

Many of those good things do happen. But vacation properties have the same drawback as all real estate investments: real estate is immobile. If you must to sell it quickly, the price must be low. You probably can’t sell it yourself, because you’re not there.

Ownership of most objects becomes undesirable. Our family situations change. Rising fortunes suggest that we should upgrade. Declining fortunes require that we sell. Seclusion that initially provided peace now brings feelings of loneliness. Or seclusion is ruined by the tasteless vacation home just built next door. The only time available to be at the vacation property is consumed with mowing and repairs.

Now is a great time to buy, because many owners need to sell. Get some advice about your purchase from people who aren’t going to make a commission if the sale goes through, whom you can confide in about your needs.

The advisors you need when considering purchasing vacation property should be able to advise you on such topics as:

  • the history of the project (subdivision, resort, condominium), including the reputation of its developer
  • subdivision restrictions and plats
  • maintenance fees
  • responsibility for road maintenance
  • recreational amenities
  • water and sewer systems
  • lake or river access
  • police and fire protection
  • homeowner association status and activities
  • distance to medical facilities
  • resale opportunities
  • nearby employment opportunities

The information that you need probably isn’t available from just one person. Take your time in making a decision. Don’t sign anything while you’re in the wistful state.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The defunct HOA problem continues in Missouri, legislation needed urgently


Homeowner associations (HOAs) are given responsibility by recorded subdivision and condominium documents for maintaining, insuring and operating private communities’ common properties, such as streets, drinking water systems, sewer collection and treatment systems, and recreation facilities.

With many developers having abandoned projects before the HOA is operated by residents, the residents and other lot or unit owners (such as lenders that have foreclosed) are often faced with HOAs that cannot properly Read the rest of this entry

All owners are necessary parties in condominium litigation when class action fails

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The Villa Dorado condominium has 45 buildings, only nine of which have elevators. When the condominium association’s board assessed every unit owner for repairs to elevators, Epstein and Root protested. Their units were in buildings with no elevators, Read the rest of this entry

It’s time: HOA budgets for 2010


Homeowner associations (HOAs) generally have fiscal years that correspond to calendar years, which means that it’s time for HOA boards to begin work on their 2010 budgets, so that the new budget–which establishes the HOA board’s authority to collect assessments and spend money–is in place before the start of 2010.

Missouri HOAs, other than condominium owners associations (COAs), don’t have any special statutes to follow. Instead, they are governed by corporation statutes and by their recorded covenants and by their bylaws, which are often not recorded.

Here’s an overview of the sources of general and financial powers of HOAs and COAs: Read the rest of this entry

Branson Landing and FEMA


Several people have asked me about my take on the allegations that FEMA was given incomplete or inaccurate information about the flood-plain status of buildings in Branson Landing.

My firm represents several tenants and condo unit owners in Brans0n Landing and also represents another party in an appeal of an administrative determination made by Branson’s Department of Planning and Development.

I am withholding comment about the Branson Landing-FEMA controversy for two reasons:

  • I don’t know anything
  • I don’t want to inadvertently make a statement that would affect my firm’s ability to represent its clients.

SB 230: The Uniform Planned Communities Act


Today, I’ll travel to Jefferson City to testify before a Senate committee in favor of the Uniform Planned Communities Act, which is Senate Bill 230, sponsored by Sen. Joan Bray.

I have testified in support of the UPCA at two or three times previously. I’m not a lobbyist, and I testify for myself at my own expense, taking off work to do so. Here’s why: Read the rest of this entry

Styron & Shilling’s HOA database project


Suppose you are buying a home in a subdivision. You don’t see many occupied houses in the subdivision, which is not in a city or town. But you see a water wellhouse and storage tank and maybe an odd looking structure that must be a sewer treatment plant or pumping station. You don’t see any signs indicating that these belong to a local government entity. You wonder who maintains the streets, the water system and the sewer system. The answer is that a homeowners’ association (HOA) is responsible for maintenance and operation of these essential facilities.

But where is the HOA?  You can’t find it in the phone book or on the internet. The public records are sketchy. Read the rest of this entry

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