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Association Board Condos
updated: Dec 31, 2013, 10:08 AM

By Edhat Subscriber

Are there any 50-unit or less condo communities that manage the community with an association board and don't use a management company?

We have 30 units and pay a lot of money for a management company that does almost nothing. I would like to hear from people from small communities who are successful managing their own community.

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 481466 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-31 10:27 AM

We did it years ago (mid-80s.)

Worked fine for a short time but the inevitable personal squabbles took their toll on the amiability and we turned into "armed camps" with disparate interests.

After turning to a management company relative peace was restored.

 

 COMMENT 481468 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-31 10:31 AM

I had many years professional experience with management of condo associations. Real bad idea to try to do it yourself. You need to find the right management company, there are many, large State and even National, and those local to SB Co. Do your homework and find a good one. Not that hard, ask around. Surprising how many HOAs exists in So Cal. and SB Co. I expect the perspective of "pay a lot of money for a co. that does almost nothing" is the same we hear from those who constantly complain about, and have no appreciation for their local government.

 

 COMMENT 481470 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-31 10:42 AM

The LA Times has a weekly column with questions about condo management. Most of their issues seem to be with Board members not following the law and/or being in collusion with their attorney and/or management company.

Could be a good question for that column.

 

 COMMENT 481492 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-31 12:19 PM

Big mistake for a 30-unit HOA to try it yourselves. The litigation that will undoubtedly result at some point will cost much more than any management fees you're currently paying. I recommend talking to Geoff McFarland at Team HOA. Very good local property management company.

 

 COMMENT 481497P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-31 12:46 PM

We're under 30 units and have been managing our own. Certain board members have caused lots of problems -- we're lucky we haven't wound up in court. Few people are willing to serve (it's volunteer, remember) because of the nastiness.

 

 COMMENT 481507 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-31 01:08 PM

A condo association that manages itself to "save" money will end up spending more in the long run on lawsuits and burn its members out on the day to day business required of an association.

My suggestion: shop for a good management company and you'll be glad you did.

 

 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-31 01:24 PM

I used to work at a place like that in Montecito I think it had just over a hundred units people fought over the dumbest scrap..heeheehee 99 Units..It was pretty crazy like a big group home for the wealthy..

 

 D8VANILLA agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-31 02:07 PM

We have a very small complex and have used a Project Manager from time-to-time, as needed. Mainly for the big projects, like roofing, fumigating, painting. Everything else we do ourselves. The person we used was not that great, even though they had the proper credentials. They charged $60 per hour.

And, we do have the "one bad" apple living here that gives everyone a lot of grief.

Good luck. Make sure you get knowledgable on all the rules governing HOA's... Davis Sterling Act . And, get their free email newsletter, which is very helpful.

http://www.davis-stirling.com

 

 COMMENT 481530 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-31 02:37 PM

We are 8 units and have a manager who receives $800 per month, after years of mismanaging ourselves.

It saves me grief now. Things are done per the CA Davis Stirling law and our reserve fund is healthy. It is worth it to me to know that the HOA board has oversight and will be held accountable. They can't just make up rules.

But not every HOA with a manager runs as smoothly as this.

 

 COMMENT 481565P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-31 04:35 PM

We used to own a condo in the Reef Court Condominium complex on the Mesa. It had an association.

 

 COMMENT 481567P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-31 04:43 PM

We have 3 units & do everything ourselves. Probably much smaller than you are asking about. We all get along. I guess we are very lucky in that regard.

 

 COMMENT 481573 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-31 05:03 PM

We have 50 units and manage it by a Board, because the association doesn't want to spend the money on a management company. The association has been operating for about 30 years. Only a handful of people in the association serve on the board, many of the same people do it year after year. Having been on the board the past few years for my most recent stint, I am now thinking the management company is the better alternative. The Board has a difficult time enforcing some of the rules, especially when there are difficult, uncooperative owners involved. It is also difficult for the board to deal with large long-term projects in the development with any consistency, such as maintenance or repairs, especially since the makeup of the board changes from year to year.

 

 COMMENT 481593P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-31 06:16 PM

"many of the same people do it year after year" versus no consistency because the "makeup of the board changes from year to year". Did you really mean to write that?

Management companies are probably more expensive, and can change their rates at any time. How much more success would they have with difficult owners? What would be their means of reversing that?

 

 COMMENT 481641 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-01 07:38 AM

I live in SY, there are about 50 properties. Self goverrning. Squabbles are infrequent, not for years now. Good people serve and take the time to know the law. Not condos, but small "ranches".
Thanks for the link to the Davis Sterling Act.

 

 COMMENT 481644 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-01 08:07 AM

Our 46 unit association has been self-managed since it was built in 1972. I'm an original resident and have periodically served on the board. Mostly things run pretty smooth, but Board members do tend to burn out.. We are homes rather than condos, so I think that makes it a little easier since we are not responsible for individual property maintenance, other than approving changes, and sometimes handling neighbor disputes.. We manage common areas, including private streets, pool, tennis court, common area gardening, etc. If you are interested in self-management, start attending meetings of the South Coast Homeowners Association (google it, I can't add a link) as a way to learn what is involved and decide if you really have people who want to do the work.

 

 COMMENT 481654 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-01 09:08 AM

Absolutely and I have 6 as clients (I own a bookkeeping service in SB) - one has 269 units. It takes dedicated owners willing to serve and do their share and each needs to step up when it's their time to serve on the board.

I second SCHOA as well as CAI and ECHO for more info.

 

 COMMENT 481660 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-01 09:25 AM

I have a friend with 30 rental units in San Rafael and he "Remington Steel'd" the whole thing. :) He and his wife actually manage the units, but they set up a fictitious management company for all the tenants to complain to, and make requests.
It's pretty funny because they (my friends) are never held directly accountable for anything and are viewed as the "maintainence" personnel. I know this cant legally be done with a condo assoc...but...;)

 

 COMMENT 481662 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-01 09:58 AM

Doesn't anyone have any suggestions for a good Management Company to help out this submitter and start the New Year off with good vibes and success???

 

 COMMENT 481680 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-01 11:08 AM

Newport Pacific Capital. We're a 60-unit mobile home park and they manage our resident-owned park.

 

 COMMENT 481686 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-01 12:00 PM

Choose a good management company wisely! Go with one who has been around for decades and who will provide references for developments similar to yours that they have managed long term - then check the references. I mean really, really check them. Don't just speak to the pet board member or contact that the company gives you, speak to a variety of owners (include a renter if your association allows rentals).

Once you select one, use a contract that allows you to cut them loose on short (or zero) notice for violating the contract or for "selectively" enforcing association rules. This can be a huge problem. My bad experiences with renting or owning within condos managed by outside companies stem from the managers enforcing "rules" that the association had never approved or for selectively not enforcing rules the association had approved.

 

 COMMENT 481702 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-01 02:02 PM

The question of a good management company for a small condo association was discussed quite nicely on Edhat a little while back. Enter "condo management" into the search box at the top left of the Edhat web page to find the thread and read the recommendations that came up.

 

 COMMENT 481716 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-01 02:44 PM

Don't do it - manage it yourself. The Davis Stirling Act was just completely revised and any association, large or small needs competent advice. Someone pointed out that it only takes one person to upset the apple cart. If you don't follow the law, the directors can be held personally liable as well as the association for failure to follow the law. Also, be sure that you have directors insurance and an adequate liability policy. Definitely not a good idea to do it yourself!

 

 COMMENT 481783 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-01 07:50 PM

I only wish I could afford a small house instead of a condo in this town because of HOA's. You do get the same Board Members year after year because so few people have the time are desire to serve on the board. When you go to a board meeting and have a homeowner issue you want addressed it often becomes a debate whether it's an HOA or you the homeowner is responsible. And without fail your HOA dues will never cease to increase over the years. It's like paying rent and a mortgage. HOA's stink! I would avoid them if you're in the market for housing can afford something like a small house.

 

26% of comments on this page were made by Edhat Community Members.

 

 

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