Saving on condo repairs & maintenance

Everybody likes to save money right?   When it comes to building maintenance one way to save money is to simply not have any work done.  Just ignore the condition of your building and hope for the best.  The only problem with this approach is that unless you can unload the unit to an unsuspecting buyer before disaster strikes you’ll be looking at a much larger repair bill.

And leaky condo problems aren’t exactly rare in Vancouver – just look at the recent news of repairs on two concord pacific towers downtown, or any other the other leaky condo repairs throughout the lower mainland.

Househunting.ca has a letter from someone whose strata opted for the ‘ignore it and hope for the best’ strategy:

Now our deferral has come back to haunt us. Each owner is faced with an average $19,000 assessment just to maintain and upgrade the exterior, not including the roof. Our windows have failed, our decks and balconies are in serious failure and the masonry detailing is in need of serious attention.

We have figured out that if each strata lot had paid an extra $30 per month over the past 34 years, our buildings would have been routinely repaired, the interest would have covered inflation costs, and we wouldn’t be doing this at a time when construction costs are at a record high.

Another problem with not getting basic maintenance done is that it will affect warranty coverage.  Even if your building is under a New Home Warranty or covered by a rain screen repair warranty, your coverage is affected by your buildings maintenance record.  Saving money in the short term can work out to be very expensive in the long term.  A year ago you may have been able to unload a leaky condo without much of a loss, but as our market softens and the number of listings for sale grows this is less of an option.

Putting the problem unit on the market and praying for a sucker with good credit isn’t as effective as it once was.

64 Comments
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
arit
12 years ago

mohican,

Thanks for the links. I heard about ICFs, but first I hear of SIPs. Very cool concepts. Definitely something to consider. Good insulation!

Thanks

arit

mohican
12 years ago

arit – you should look at building a home with Structural Insulating Panels (SIPs) and Insulating Concrete Forms (ICF). Google them both and you'll find both are affordable and proven building technologies suitable for our climate. Perhaps you already know this but thought I'd throw it out there.

I'd like to build a home one day using those technologies.

Vansanity
Vansanity
12 years ago

Arrests made in $30M Real Estate Fraud in BC.

http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/story.html?id=

I'm speechless. Never thought there could be such corruption and fraud in such a proud and honorable industry. 😛

patriotz
patriotz
12 years ago

In reality I’ve swayed the numbers your way so much it’s more likely well under 2%.

It doesn't matter how much of the economy drug money is anyway.

The whole argument is bogus. It is based on the premise that there is something "special" about income from drugs that can result in price/rent ratios for RE defying fundamentals indefinitely. As though the RE market was "on drugs" or something.

That's just plain absurd. People were saying the same thing about oil in Alberta, which of course amounts for a huge amount of provincial GDP, and look what is happening to the RE market there.

Time
Time
12 years ago

Matt,

Why don't you join the police force or be an olympian and bring us the gold you loser!

buy now before rent hit your ear drums.

Drachen
Drachen
12 years ago

I don't think drugs are a really big impact on the market guys. RCMP estimates total drug traffic at between 11 and 46 billion annually (for Canada). Let's pick the middle ground and say 25 billion. BC is well under half of Canada's total, let's guesstimate 10 billion with 5 of that being outgoing 3 incoming and 2 for made and sold here (I think so far, if anything I'm exaggerating the numbers in a direction that is very conservative for my case). That 2 billion is a write off because there's no money flowing in to BC from that. So a total high ball number of 8 billion vs 190 billion BC GDP is 4%. Even less than the "rich foreigner" money that we all laugh at. In reality I've swayed the numbers your way so much it's more… Read more »

matt
matt
12 years ago

In B.C. the cops aren't anywhere close to making any progress in halting the drug trade. Also, there is very little public will to stop the drug trade.

JB
JB
12 years ago

FBI saw threat of mortgage crisis

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-mortgagefra

jesse
jesse
12 years ago

"The only difference is when those drug buggers get caught they go away for a long time"

With higher risk one would expect a higher return, no? Wouldn't there be more $ amongst the US dealers and traffickers, jailed or not? By extension I would think these extra profits would flow into real estate yet prices are dropping nontheless.

Disbelief
Disbelief
12 years ago

You don’t think that drugs are a big chunk of Miami’s economy?

The only difference is when those drug buggers get caught they go away for a long time and get all their stuff confiscated and our drug scumbags get away with a slap on the wrist…

patriotz
patriotz
12 years ago

This is different from Vancouver in that B.C. has a 6 billion dollar industry in marijuana.

You don't think that drugs are a big chunk of Miami's economy?

patriotz
patriotz
12 years ago

and are supporting high prices by laundering their offshore money by buying the requisite thousands of properties needed to set prices at the margins.

The marginal buyers are the ones who are least able to afford the properties, not the most able.

matt
matt
12 years ago

I think it's quite telling that the largest drops in US real estate prices come from cities like Las Vegas, Miami and Phoenix. I'm going to guess it's got something to do with the fact that these cities lack any real economy outside of tourism and construction.

This is different from Vancouver in that B.C. has a 6 billion dollar industry in marijuana.

jesse
jesse
12 years ago

"Cozy relationship? You mean like in Vegas or Miami?"

The Beeb had a report on Vancouver's enormous drug trade so it must be worse than LV or Miami. We know major Asian drug lords and thieves reside in Vancouver — I think there are a few dozen of them at least — and are supporting high prices by laundering their offshore money by buying the requisite thousands of properties needed to set prices at the margins. Therefore high prices are justified.

Odds are one of the readers here is renting one of these properties purchased with drug and blood money.

VancouverBanker
VancouverBanker
12 years ago

"Cozy relationship? You mean like in Vegas or Miami?"

Exactly. Even criminals using property to launder money will sell once the market starts dropping; at the end of the day they're still investors/speculators.

patriotz
patriotz
12 years ago

Cozy relationship? You mean like in Vegas or Miami?

Nuff said.

pinocchio123
pinocchio123
12 years ago

OT: Did you guys see the article + aerial pictures of the cannabis operation neat 100mile house in today's province???

I wonder where those guys spent their money… 1.5 million joints form just one crop!

That and the fact that Real Estate Industry and Organized Crime seem to have a cozy relationship these days makes me think that the downfall of this monster will take a little longer than we hope for.

arit
12 years ago

lorem Ipsum

Well, I am not sure what is the exact point you want to make. But since we are not going to build with bricks let's drop it.

Regarding bullet proof houses: If you wish to discuss it in more depth (that is something I have experience with), let me know and I'll link you to a place we can chat (in IM). I prefer not to derail the thread on this topic.

Best regards,

arit

lorem ipsum
lorem ipsum
12 years ago

Arit:

That website lists no distributors, no prodcut cut sheets or specifications, no reference to relevant CSA/ANSI standards, no independent lab test results. Compare it to a site like this one: http://www.r-control.com/ (to take a random example of an actual building product manufacturer).

Shouldn't people around here be a little better at seeing through bullshit claims? Just because you read it on the intertubes doesn't make it real.

As to making a place bulletproof, the doors and windows are going to let you down long before the walls do!

patriotz
patriotz
12 years ago

Well no.

The reason money pays interest is that money can be used to buy capital, and capital yields income. It has nothing to do with inflation, although the nominal interest rate will adjust for inflationary expectations. But the real interest rate is based on the real return on capital.

pinocchio123
pinocchio123
12 years ago

I think the concept of interest and inflation is fairly simple. Here's what it means to me:

The only way bankers can lure people to give them their money (to play with) is to promise interest. So instead of spending you hard-earned dough on booze and hoes today, you give it to the banker who "keeps" it for you for a long time in hopes of making it big one day thanks to "the miracle of compound interest". After a long wait you get your money back, only to discover that even with the interest it can buy you the same amount of booze and hoes as it did 30 years ago, except that you're too old to drink or have sex anymore anyway, so it was all for nothing.

Isn't basically what it is?

arit
12 years ago

Machiatto,

"I think that over our lifetime, wood vs. brick doesn’t matter in terms of what we require"

It's not that, machiatto. I want my home to be bulletproof.

Yes, I am crazy. Yes this is Canada, Yes it won't happen here.

But, 2 years ago a bus blew up underneath my dad'd building, and no one got hurt inside the building (19 dead in the bus). 3 years ago a HUGE bomb was discovered under my Mom's building (it didn't explode). These are two different buildings.

So yes, I am paranoid, but my house will be bulletproof.

Best regards,

arit

arit
12 years ago

lorem ipsum

Arit, now you’re being foolish. ‘Modern’ (by which I assume you mean concrete)

You see, one assumes something, and the other one becomes foolish. I meant more like this:

The ThermalBlock

"High "R" values range from 19 to 38."

http://www.thermalblock.com/

Regards,

arit

macchiato
macchiato
12 years ago

Arit, I would disagree that wood frame construction isn't sturdy and this is indeed a home made from lumber. I think that over our lifetime, wood vs. brick doesn't matter in terms of what we require from sturdiness … longer term I would imagine brick lasts much longer, this your point?

Crazy story about the earthquake, glad to see you made it out OK.

Lager not Logger
Lager not Logger
12 years ago

does anybody actually fall for this?

Evidently not since its been sitting on the market for more than six months. Looks like this tactic is just a waste of time.