January seems to be flying by. The weather here in San Diego has been glorious these past few weeks. After a lot of rain over the holidays, January is shaping up to be the best one yet since I have lived here. We have had highs in the 70s and with sunny skies and dry conditions. I am so grateful to live here now, especially when I see that the northeast continues to get pounded by snow and ice. I know that I would be miserable if I still lived there.
As for the condo, I still don’t have walls in sections of living room due to the leak and the drywall that was taken out back on Dec 27. We have received one bid for a repair and replacement option that was way too expensive. Replacing it would be absolutely ridiculous, so for now we are going to go the repair route. The second vendor is supposed to send his bid in a few days. Then we can get that repair done and then put back up the drywall that was taken out. There are 3 other units that need drywall repair, so our reserves are certainly going to take a hit after all of this.
Since I am now on the board, I proposed that every unit owner may need to pay a one-time assessment fee of $500 to $700 so we can replenish some of the reserves we are going to take out to pay for all these repairs. I am annoyed that the owners let things deteriorate so much over the years. No one thought of having routine maintenance on the roof and building. I was up on that roof myself and there were tons of leaves and other debris that were blocking drains, etc. It should be cleaned on a regular basis. It should be inspected on a regular basis. I know that the other unit owners will not want to pay an assessment, but it may be necessary. According to our HOA bylaws, we have to carry a certain balance in the reserve. We will see what happens.
I did receive good news from the California Franchise Tax Board though. I applied for part of the $100 million that is to be allocated in tax credits to first time home buyers in California. Since I closed on my condo between May 1, 2010 and Jan 1, 2011, I qualified to receive $10,000 over the course of 3 years. I applied and received the confirmation letter that I received the credit the other week. So I will receive $3,333 as a tax return once I complete my state taxes. This money will come in handy for condo related projects (new windows, more furniture and art work), especially any assessments I may have to pay related to the roof repairs. Being a homeowner is not predictable nor easy, but I am trying to learn as much as I can as I go along.
I've even done a few Do-It-Yourself projects at home to save money. I first fixed my disposal about a month ago. It was jammed. So I went to Lowe's and bought a $7 tool that loosens the blades if anything is stuck in there. I also repaired my kitchen light that would "sometimes" turn on. This has been an issue since I moved in last July. I thought it was the bulbs at first, but I replaced them and it still had issues. Then I went to Lowe's and bought a replacement switch. The woman who happened to be in the isle and seemed like a lighting expert, told me that it may be the ballast. I had no idea what that was, but it is the electronic box that holds all the circuits, etc. They didn't have any at the store to power the size of my light, but I found one online. When I got it, I turned off the electricity, took out the old one, put in the new one and it is working fine now. I basically saved myself $150 by not calling an electrician to do this for me.
Labels: assessment, California Franchise Tax Board, Condo, first time home buyer's tax credits, HOA, Lowe's