Call me naive, or just plain dumb, I never considered the, “hidden” costs associated with condo ownership. OK, so maybe they weren’t hidden, but I certainly didn’t think about what might happen if our building suffered serious damage.
I mean we pay our Home Owner Association dues each month (just writing the check makes me cringe, but single family homes in our area are 1 million+ and that wasn’t in our budget), so our condo fees would cover the building’s expenses and emergency expenses right?
WRONG. So wrong! Thanks to the “Super storm” aka hurricane Sandy, I am now intimately acquainted with the term, “assessment”.
So here’s the long of the short of it…our building’s basement flooded, causing 5+ feet of water to submerge all of our electrical boxes, the building’s hot water heater, washer and dryer, and all of the walls of the basement. Fortunately, all of these things were in the basement and we live on the 3rd floor. Unfortunately, since we’re 1/5 owners of the building, fixing the aforementioned items comes directly out of our pockets. To keep our condo fees low- $275 a month, the association didn’t have
a big an emergency reserve. As a result the costs to repair everything will be divided by 5, which means one big check to write, right before Christmas, ugg.
We’ve been homeowners for less than a year. Although we love it and feel good about our decision, I am beginning to think that home ownership isn’t as “fun” as I’d imagined. Nobody can plan a natural disaster, but boy are they a money buzz kill.
Are you a homeowner? Are there expenses that took you by surprise during your first year?
Image: Jay Wentworth