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Thread: Shopping for a Condo

  1. #1
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    Default Shopping for a Condo

    There are a lot of condos for sale in the Sosua area so buyers have many to choose from. However, my observation is that many are using the wrong criteria in deciding where to buy. Maintenance fees are important, but should not be the primary consideration. And just because something is new does not make it better.

    It surprises me how many dissatisfied condo owners that I have come in contact with during the past year. And for the most part, what they are dissatisfied with are things that they should have discovered before they bought.

    In no particular order, here are a few suggestions of what to ask or look for when shopping for a condo. All are based on complaints that I have heard. Others will, I'm sure, be able to add to the list.

    1. Does the condominium have a paid administrator, or is the supervision done by a couple of volunteer owners.

    2. Do the people living there speak positively about the way the condominium is administered?

    3. Are there owners who are not paying maintenance fees? If so, what action is being taken to force them to pay.

    4. Does the condominium have written rules? If so, read them carefully and ask yourself if all the bases have been covered or if the rules are just intended to meet the requirement that a property have rules in order to get condominium status under the Condo Law. Look for how owners or other residents who disturb you will be dealt with. Loud music, barking dogs, yelling and screaming children,etc., will spoil not only your day but also your enjoyment of your condo. Look for the rule or rules that describes the action that will be taken if an owner doesn't pay maintenance fees and assessments.

    5. Does the condominium have insurance, not on contents but to replace the building at full value if severely damaged or destroyed? If insured, is the payment included in the maintenance fee or paid for by assessment.?

    6. Are the buildings and grounds being maintained as well as you think they should be? Your new condo won't maintain or increase its value if the building and grounds are not properly maintained.

    7. Back to rules, are there rules to protect the aesthetic appearance of the building, or can each owner do his thing. The aesthetic appearance of the building is also a factor in maintaining the value of your purchase.

    8. What procedure is described in the rules for dealing with owners and other residents who don't abide by the rules of the condominium?

    9. Will anything be done if an owner invites prostitutes to his apartment and they walk around in the nude outdoors?

    Based on what I know and have heard from others, if I were choosing a condo to buy, I would take the one that has good administrator with a track record, shows evidence of being maintained, has a good set of rules with procedures for dealing with problems that are likely to spoil your enjoyment of your condo, and has adequate insurance on the building, preferably in dollars rather than pesos.

    I happen to live in a condominium that, I think, meets all the criteria and I am very happy that I do. Because there are a large number of condo owners who paid a lot of money but who are not getting the satisfaction from their purchase they deserve. If your selection is based only on the input of your realtor and the maintenance fee in comparison to others, chances are that you, too, will be one of those dissatisfied owners.

    If a condominium is new and does not yet have rules or administrative procedures that you can verify, I would be doubly cautious about buying there. The adoption and revision of rules requires the approval of 75% of the owners. Getting a large group of new owners who don't know each other well and who are probably new to condo ownership to come up with a comprehensive set of well thought out rules that most owners can agree to is a monumental task and likely to take years to accomplish, assuming that it can be accomplished with the mix of owners of your condominium.

  2. #2
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    Very nice, thanks Ken.

    You might also want to take a look at this thread.

    http://www.dr1.com/forums/real-estat...-property.html
    Last edited by Robert; 04-22-2010 at 10:04 AM.

  3. #3
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    Default Procedure ?

    Ken,
    You are talking about a procedure for dealing with owners and other residents who don't abide by the rules of the condominium.

    We are in our condominium complex working on a revision of our rules.
    Can you tell me how do you deal with residents who do'nt abide by the rules ?

    Thank you very much for your input.

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    Ken you left out the name of your complex. I understand your desire to protect your privacy. How about you name four comlpexes that are better than most. please ignore the spelling errors spell check disapeared from tool bar? I printed your post, for future reference thankyou

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    Nice post Ken! Deserves a sticky I think!

  6. #6
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    Good advice no matter where.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lucine View Post
    Ken you left out the name of your complex. I understand your desire to protect your privacy. How about you name four comlpexes that are better than most. please ignore the spelling errors spell check disapeared from tool bar? I printed your post, for future reference thankyou
    Lucine, I live in El Neptuno in Sosua. We have the best administrator on the north coast and our buildings and common areas, though not new, are very well maintained. We have a good set of rules and they are enforced, a revision is in process that will make them even stronger. The General Assembly earlier this month approved installing entry doors on each of our buildings with intercom connection to each apartment in order to increase security. We have insurance to cover the replacement cost of the condominium that covers everything included in the construction. Owners who want content insurance can buy it, but all are covered for the replacement cost of the buildings. The owners take pride in the condominium and approve measures to improve it. The Assembly also approved renovating the patio in front of the building, replacing the present expanse of concrete with walks and green spaces. We are located in a quiet, upscale neighborhood, but only a few minutes walk from the center of town and the beach. The apartments are large, with 2 bedrooms and two baths. I think apartments here are a much better value than are the much higher priced apartments in the many new condos that are being built in the area.

    Several apartments are presently available, and it is possible to deal direct with owners if you prefer. Our administrator is Ramona Valdez. If anyone wants her contact information, please send me a PM or email.

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  9. #8
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    you've been very generous with your information thank-you, I'll have to give them a look when I come down in July. But I will heed the advice to rent first, thanks again.
    sincerely
    lucine

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    lucine, just sent you a PM. Hope to see you in July.

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    Very nice post Ken,

    Thank you very much

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