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A New-Wave of Condominium Associations

The Cincinnati condominium market has seen some dramatic changes since the housing crash occurred in 2007. Prior to the Crash developers were building large scale condominium communities with lavish amenities such as large clubhouses with workout rooms, fancy designed pools with splash parks, and large playground areas with over sized structures. To say the least, times were good for developers and new condominium owners. With condo sales skyrocketing it wasn’t rare for a communities of 200+ condos to be completed in 5 years or less.

Then the mortgage crises and the crash. With no more subprime lending and zero-down mortgages the condo sales all but disappeared. Developers found themselves with numerous condo projects in mid-construction that would create a nightmare situation for them and the owners living in the half finished communities. We saw prior to the crash that developers would complete construction of all community amenities well before the monthly assessments of the current homes would support the expense.  After the crash developers faced two options to cover the excess expenses: One, they paid large “short fall” amounts and two owners fees had to increase. Over the next years we would see several developers go out of business, communities sold to new developers, community designs and build-out units changed, and owners were left in communities far different than what they were promised.

Now we are several years after the crash the market has begun to change and the area is seeing movement in the housing market. While we are seeing small number of large developers venture back into the large Condo Association development, a new type of Condo Development has blossomed in the Greater Cincinnati area. The small condominium association.

As a result of a major renaissance to downtown neighborhoods such as Over the Rhine (OTR), Price Hill, and Walnut Hills a large amount of new housing is being set-up as Condominium Associations. A majority of these rehabbed structures contain twenty or less units and are expected to operate according to a set of Declarations and By-Laws.  Traditionally in the past the large developers had staff dedicated to setting up and operating the Condo Association during construction. Unfortunately now we are seeing new smaller Associations being left in the dark on how to legally operate after the developer has completed construction. While there are several management companies in Cincinnati that specifically focus on Association Management none focus on the small Associations. These companies systems and software are geared toward the large Condo Associations of the past.

At Compass Association Advisors our goal is to help small associations and their owners operate as described by their legal Declaration and By-Laws. We feel it is our duty to help this new wave of small associations operate in a manor to maintain, if not increase, property values. With various levels of services we can tailor fit your Associations needs to ensure your association will run smoothly now and into the future.

Board & Owner Communication is key!

In the attached story we see an example of what can happen when a Homeowners Association Board is not communicating with the owners of the Association.  While the Board may have good intentions in purchasing additional land and filing liens on delinquent owners, without transparency these actions will always be viewed as suspicious.

While all homeowners might not agree with the actions of the Board, which will likely happen in a large Association, keeping owners informed and part of the decision process is key to the basic operation of the association. This open communication and transparency will dramatically decrease lawsuits and keep your Association off the local nightly news!

Neighborhood attempting to overthrow HOA

Small Condo’s pay a big price.

Regardless of your condominium or community size, the management companies have a set fee for full service management. However, with so many online systems and tech-savvy owners we feel small associations can survive and strive by self-managing their association…with just a little help from a professional.

We would love to discuss the options and systems we can provide to help your association save money on big management fees and reapply that savings back into your property values.

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