Silent Condo Killer

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Jon, I hear you loud and clear, but than again, single family hoes waterfront or not, luxury or not have the same problem.

I (single person, never at home) just looked at my water bill and it was $100, the electic bill is roughly $300, now add lawn maintenance $120 and pest control $50 and basic cable $50 and trash and a few hundred for insurance and and and. When you look at it this way, a condo maintenance fee isn’t too bad.

Bella Vista CondoI was showing units in luxury oceanfront new condominium buildings in Daytona Beach Shores. My client was thinking about upgrading from a not so luxury new direct oceanfront condo to a nicer and better built one. There is no doubt that the difference is obvious. The building, the amenities, the units, everything was there to impress. Unfortunately, along with the maintenance fee.

In Bella Vista it was $576 per month for a 3 bdr/3 baths unit, in Palma Bella – $625, in Ocean Villas it was just short of $700 a month. It is practically double from what they were initially just recently. Somehow the Board of Directors were not able to control the costs. Well, I can understand that growth right after the hurricanes, as growing insurance costs affected everyone, but over 4 years after the last hurricane in this area?

Palma Bella Condo

Because Maintenance Fee is a budget function, and should not be expected to fluctuate frivolously, we can assume that it has a strong tendency to grow. So far I am not that naive to expect the cost of kilowatt to go lower, and a cost of gallon of water go lower, and the cost of labor go lower, and the cost of construction go lower (which directly affects the insurance premiums as the replacement cost parameter is used), so no luck on that front. And if this is the case, then the question is how long it will take to start forcing people out of the properties that they own, but can’t afford.

The costs are going up, the values will go up, and the association maintenance fees will go up. Even if at 15% a year, with $625 today, here’s how the maintenance fee increases over 10 years with 15% cap annually:

Ocean Villas Condo1.   $   625.00
2.   $   718.00
3.   $   825.70
4.   $   949.55
5.   $1,091.98
6.   $1,255.78
7.   $1,444.15
8.   $1,660.77
9.   $1,909.89

But this is better than what so many of working people make here. So, if I want to retire in Daytona Beach, I would need to work full time just to pay the maintenance? Would we be buying now if we understand that we may be looking at paying in 10 years? I am sure that I am not the only one, who sees that.

I won’t be able to pay my maintenance fee, if it goes like this. What are my options? Die before it kills me (what a funny way of wording it) or start thinking of moving?

What about removing those who are leading with no vision, no passion, no convictions? They are just PC… or BS, whichever you prefer.

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