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Subject: Condominium, Villa, or Home Owner
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Author Messages
RobertF
(Florida)

Posts:21


03/13/2006 7:49 PM  
I am on he board of a small development (22 single family detached homes, classified as condominiums) in Florida. We have an exceptionally high maintenance fee due to insurance premiums. Since we are classified as a condominium, we have to pay commercial rates for our insurance. At the present time we are considering an amendment which would eliminate the association covering the individual homes and make the unit owner responsible for their own insurance. The association would still cover the pool and common ground. As we see it, this should result in a significant reduction in insurance costs, thus reducing our assessment. At the same time, consideration is being given to changing from a condominium to individual homes or villas and have a simple homeowners association, yet maintaining all the rules and regulations presently in our declarations. This makes me ask a couple of questions and I solicit your input on any or all.
1. How do homeowners associations compare to codominium associations? Pros and cons of each would be appreciated.
2. By making the homeowner responsible for their own insurance can we assure that everybondy does take out some insurance?
3. We are at a total loss as to what a Vill Association is, Any
help here would be great.

I will have a lot more to say in future postings, but this is enough to get me started.

Thanks to all who contribute. We really need help!!
RogerB
(Colorado)

Posts:5067


03/13/2006 8:20 PM  
Robert, since you are single family detached homes how can you be classified as condominiums? In a condominium you only own the air space. Thus insurance requirements and maintenance are totally different than single family homes. To determine if you are single family or condominium review your Declaration of CC&Rs.

I think your plan to be single family units responsible for their own insurance makes sense. The HOA can insure the common areas plus D&O and fidelity coverage. The mortgage companies will require homeowners insurance or if owned outright it is the owners option whether to carry insurance.

I saw one definition of Villa. n. a detached or semi-detached large country home. Had not heard of a Villa Association, must be pretty high class

Roger
RobertF
(Florida)

Posts:21


03/13/2006 8:34 PM  
Roger,

When this devleopment was established it was incorporated as a condominium with 22 phases. Each phase consists of a unit which
sits on a footprint. All of the ground outside of the footprint is considered common ground. Some homes have virtully nothing behind them, others have quite a bit of land. You are correct in that we only own the air space inside of the Unit; however, changes being considered make the homeowner responsible for outside maintenance and roof repair. The association is looking at everything possible to reduce the assessment. One last thing, we are also covered by the "master" association which consists of 44 homes in the original development. All 22 of our homes reside on one street. Thus we pay assessments to the Master and to our own Association. It is a positive fact that we have to do something to reduce these costs.
RogerB
(Colorado)

Posts:5067


03/14/2006 7:55 AM  
Robert, being condos and part of a master association makes it tougher to change. I would start by trying to reduce expenses and increase income from your sources other than assessments. For example, for the HOAs we manage upon takeover we have saved all of them more than we are paid. This was done by reducing management fees, reducing or eliminating legal costs, reducing insurance costs (last two were 74% & 56%), reducing contractor costs (35% to over 100%), reducing water cost (a major cost for Colorado HOAs with greenbelts), and increasing income from reserve funds.
Do this in both the local and master associations.

If that fails to achieve needed results the next step I would take is to consult with an attorney.

Good luck,
Roger
LouraS


Posts:9


03/16/2006 7:27 AM  
Any attempt to convert your condominiums into single family lots and the corresponding revisions to deeds, maps as well as your governing documents will likely be an expensive and time intensive process. You should start by understanding the legal requirements to modify your existing documents, transfer common elements (which you will be doing when you make individual lots) and the process to replat the community into lots.

Loura Sanchez, Esq.
Official HOATalk.com Sponsor
HindmanSanchez
Attorney Licensed in the State of Colorado
www.hindmansanchez.com
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RobertF
(Florida)

Posts:21


03/16/2006 5:44 PM  
We have a couple of committees working on some of these things.

First, we are checking on the cost of surveying the property.

Second, we have a couple of fairly intelligent individuals reviewing the bylaws, declarations, etc., with the thought of possibly doing some of it through amendments.

Third, we all recognize that what is being proposed will become a monumental project which when we put all of our ducks in a row will probably be tossed out the window.

We just consider that we have a responsibility to the members to investigate every possibility, recognizing that nothing will be done until the membership approves it. At this time, the major expense has been labor on the part of a few Board members. Once we gather a few facts we will be able to forecast costs and that will certainly raise a few eyebrows.

Your comments are appreciated.

Bob
RobertF
(Florida)

Posts:21


03/18/2006 10:12 PM  
Roger,
You stated that you were able to reduce Insurance costs by 56%.
Would you mind telling me how you accomplished this? Insurance
is one of our highest expenses and we are looking in every direction to cut costs here. We recognize that should we make
each homeowner responsible for their own insurance, the Association would see significant savings; however, the homeowners would have to pay more. Would the difference resulting from a reduction in the assessment be adequate to offset the additional charges to the
homeowners?
LuciusD


Posts:0


03/19/2006 3:58 PM  
In my opinion, you a "spinning your wheels" if you do not have a competent attorney on your team from the begining. This is like do-it-yourself brain surgery; you need the advice of a legal professional.
CherylM
(Florida)

Posts:1


05/02/2006 4:34 PM  
Florida Condo Insurance.

Our insurance will be discontinued in a couple of months. Does anyone know of an insurance company who will cover condominiums?

I am a volunteer for Park Lake Townhouses Phase II, Inc. in Maitland, Florida (between Winter Park and Altamonte Springs) and all of our phases (5 in all) are faced with this problem. We are required by law to maintain insurance coverage for common property.

Please help Cheryl 321-228-5849
Park Lake Townhouses Phase II, Inc.
Maitland, Florida
http://myparklake.com
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