Assessments and Reserves

Every home on the planet needs maintenance, repairs, upgrades, renovations and improvements over time. No property is immune from this. Every homeowner knows that when a roof needs to be repaired, it’s wisest not to delay….. keeping a reserve fund for these inevitable costs is essential, whether a single family home or an apartment building.

Owners of homes have two options as it relates to funding bigger cost items: either you build up a ‘savings account’ of sorts by adding a bit extra each month into the kitty to create a reserve fund, or you keep in the back of your mind the knowledge and certainty that at some point you will have to fund a bigger expenditure another way. In condo’s and co-ops that is done via an assessment….eg: A $1 million facade repair is split amongst 100 apartment owners so that each pays a percentage of that cost based on the percentage of the building they ‘own’ based on their offering plan or number of shares.

Sometimes these costs are financed, adding to a monthly ongoing repayments/financing cost. Sometimes they are charged in one lump sum. And sometimes the HOA offers a payment plan whereby the cost is spread out over several months or even years. Many buildings around the US are facing bigger assessments as buildings age. Delayed maintenance and upgrades is often more expensive. All homeowners should factor this inevitable cost into their home costs budget. Almost all capital improvements increase the value of a property, and almost all of them can be added to your cost basis so they could have tax benefits down the road upon resale.

Creative solutions
Many HOA’s struggle with owners who cannot afford to pay large assessments: these challenges are often resolved with creative financing options. Sometimes other owners in a building may fund those unable to pay and accrue interest over time that is then repaid upon the resale of that unit. There are almost always (creative) solutions to money problems.(Compass)

Please contact me for a market report that includes properties in your area which were recently listed or sold.

9 Florida-Friendly Trees to Boost Your Property Value


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Expansion Plans for Fort Myers Airport

Anybody flying in or out of RSW recently will have seen signs announcing expansion plans.
The RSW Terminal Expansion Project includes consolidating the Transportation Security Administration checkpoints into a new 16-lane configuration and providing additional seating, concession spaces and a business lounge. In total, more than 164,000 square feet of space will be remodeled and 117,000 square feet of new walkways and concession space will be added to the airport terminal.
The project actually started in October 2021 and construction is planned for three years.

Click here to watch a short conceptual video, and here to go to the full news release. (more…)

5 tips on how not to disappear in the hybrid workplace

When remote work was mandatory and all or most of your co-workers, your boss, and many of your external stakeholders were remote, the playing field was level. There was a real sense that we were all “in this together.” People were remarkably understanding and accepting of quirky situations, whether IT related or the result of the blurred line between home and work (think dogs barking and children crying during meetings). That kind of tolerance is now rare. And it’s just one of many pitfalls for remote workers.

Whether you are fully remote or in a hybrid work environment, avoid the “Zoom ceiling” by understanding and working around the potential pitfalls that come from lowered visibility in the office.

Knowledge at Wharton, a business journal from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, has suggested five steps to position yourself better for greater visibility to ensure that you are getting recognition for your accomplishments and staying in line for promotions and desirable assignments. Make sure your employer knows you aren’t stepping off the ladder. (more…)

It’s not just Tom Brady who is Unretiring

Millions of U.S. workers retired during the pandemic. Now many are returning to work at rates not seen since 2020.

Many are people under the official retirement age who, spurred by rising asset values or Covid-19 worries, left the workforce ahead of schedule, labor economists say. Roughly 2.6 million Americans retired earlier than expected between February 2020 and October 2021, according to estimates from Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis senior economist Miguel Faria-e-Castro.

Others now quitting early retirement realize they weren’t as financially prepared to live without a steady paycheck as they hoped. Um, I am not sure that is why Brady is unretiring……

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Did You Know?

* Though just 17% of the U.S. population is 65 or older, United Van Lines reports that seniors in that age group completed 29% of all its moves in 2020. Sumter County, Florida has one of the highest levels of inbound migration of seniors in the U.S. thanks in large part to the Villages, a sprawling retirement community more than 50 miles northwest of Orlando. But large cities are seeing an influx of older people seeking the excitement and variety/volume of entertainment/restaurant options. (WSJ)

* In the 4th quarter of 2021, investors bought 18.4% of the US homes that were purchased, a record high. And possibly one of the biggest drivers of housing inflation? Higher purchase prices + higher rents = essential demand for higher wages. (FT)

* The median monthly payment on a new mortgage is now taking up a much larger share of a typical consumer’s income. It jumped 8.3% in February compared with January. The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage shot significantly higher yesterday, rising 24 basis points to 4.95%. The quicker-than-expected rise in rates has weighed on demand for mortgages and refinancing loans. With both rates and prices considerably higher, the median mortgage payment is now more than 20% higher than it was a year ago. And so is pricing in some parts….Now comes the question: are incomes that much higher to sustain this? (CNBC)

* The average bonus paid to securities industry employees in New York climbed 20% to a record $257,500 for 2021, the largest increase in bonuses since 2009. Securities industry jobs make up just 5% of private sector roles, but accounted for 18%, or $14.9 billion, of state tax collections in the 2021 fiscal year. (CNBC)

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U.S. Takes Step to Regulate Cryptocurrency Market

Cryptocurrency home sales barely have a toehold, and a new exec order from Pres. Biden may change the rules. The order suggests regulation and a U.S.-owned version.

Over 100 countries are exploring or piloting Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) – a digital form of a country’s sovereign currency.

“The rise in digital assets creates an opportunity to reinforce American leadership in the global financial system and at the technological frontier, but also has substantial implications for consumer protection, financial stability, national security and climate risk,” according to the Executive Order.

The Order lays out a national policy for digital assets across six key priorities: consumer and investor protection; financial stability; illicit finance; U.S. leadership in the global financial system and economic competitiveness; financial inclusion; and responsible innovation.

Executive Order key points