Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Hardly the ladder of success...

Half way through my weekly massage, voices were heard outside my door, one of which involved a ladder. These days, that fills me with dread. After the premature demise of my air conditioning system due to tarping, I was in no mood to see another round of stupidity compromise my new compressor.

Encountering my upstairs neighbor, she shared photos of the black mold spreading throughout her closet from a long term leak that our HOA has repeatedly failed to fix. She is showing signs of headache and cough and her dog isn't well, either. The attorney for whom she works has advised her to seek legal help in dealing with this. I do not blame her for doing so if medical and repair costs and loss of clothing or vet bills are involved. She has been assured that the roofing material will be removed and a new roof installed but in the meantime, a piece of plastic and duct tape have been placed on the edge of the roof, supposedly not over our compressors.

Upon receipt of the photos from the property manager, our condo association president remarked that maybe my neighbor should sue the roofing manufacturer. While that may come to pass, it does not solve any of the more immediate problems in this situation and taping plastic sheeting is also shortsighted.

Not being a trusting soul where stupid people are concerned, I called a fellow owner who is a general contractor and asked that he come here and photograph the roofing materials and where they are so that I could have some documentation if something happens to the compressors. I am also concerned that the mold could continue to spread and if there is enough to be causing headaches and other symptoms for my neighbor and her dog, it should be cleaned up immediately. Having another pair of eyes may help.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

The Stuff Has Hit The Fan...

I ventured to my Homeowners meeting the other night. The HOA had brought in a lawyer experienced in the dissolution of condominium associations. That process is multi-faceted and governed by State law and has nothing to do with the condominium rules or articles of condominium which established my community in 1983.

To hire the attorney to undertake dissolution, it would cost $20,000 or so. The process can take several months. Before it is undertaken, an appraisal of the property is recommended to give owners and the board a better idea about whether they should go ahead with dissolution. When given the estimated cost for repairs divided by the number of present owners, each owner would face a sixty thousand dollar assessment per unit if the property fails to attract a buyer. Additionally, the process of dissolution of our association must be started and an appraisal completed prior to negotiating with potential buyers. Should eighty percent of the owners fail to agree to the dissolution, the association would ask for sixty thousand per unit for needed repairs.

The average price for these units currently is seventy thousand dollars, according to real estate websites and that is below other properties in this area. They are one bedroom or efficiency and were originally constructed in the mid-seventies as a rental apartments which became a condo in the eighties. While there are 52 units and two outbuildings, the number of owners has dwindled to less than twenty, meaning that a lot of people own multiple units and rent them out and at least a handful do not live on site.

When asked if he could guarantee a buyer, the attorney said that he could not. He was simply there to navigate through the process and do all of the paperwork required by the State. Part of this also involves presenting a list of problems to a judge when petitioning for dissolution. The State can reject the condominium association's petition for dissolution, so the attorney and the appraisal are important, as are any recommendations from contractors, inspectors and appraisers.

The fact that this property sits on a sinkhole as of 2006 and is considered distressed and noted on any deed as such has a direct bearing on fair market value which any buyer is expected to provide. An important point, however, is that though the buildings have been remediated and piers and concrete used to stabilize them, the ground beneath still contains a sinkhole and any developer would be prudent to undertake studies of the area in order to determine the feasibility for commercial development. Our board is taking a big gamble and at this point, there are no certainties.

Any payout from the sale of the property includes not only what the buyer offers for fair market value of units and land but any monies from the association's coffers to which I am entitled at the time of dissolution.

Worried much? You betcha... Happy Sunday.

Monday, June 10, 2019

It is the Small Things...

It has been rainy and wet here for most of the day and that is expected to continue throughout the week. Aside from my normal household cleaning and errands this weekend, a chat with a friend took a slight curve when she raised the subject of gratitude.

While much has been written about this, it remains a subject of ongoing research from many quarters. What has been learned thus far is that gratitude and its practice changes the brain, advances feelings of well being, is strongly linked to love and happiness,  deepens relationships, increases empathy while decreasing aggression, builds self-esteem and mental strength and is good for both physical and psychological health. People who give and count their blessings also tend to sleep better.

I've been writing gratitude lists for years and while doing so initially felt awkward, with time, I found that doing so re-focused my attention the small but important positive connections, activities and feelings in my day and as one of several hedges against chronic pain, gratitude helped stave off the deeper depression that can accompany such a scenario. Over time, the rote list of being grateful for home, comfort, cat, friends, family and good days expanded and I found myself looking at the smallest parts of my life with new eyes.

Today is one example. Ib opened my door to a cheerful delivery person who, upon giving me a dinner order, followed that up with a cup of decaf. On the cup was a smiley face, my name and hers. She knows I like decaf and while it isn't on the delivery menu, when she has my delivery order, an extra cup always comes with it. She is kind and very easy to chat to. My orders are always correct and I never forget to tip. She even noticed my latest haircut. She got a beaming smile and I am now thinking about what else I might do for her.

This brings me to the chat with a friend mentioned earlier. Rather than noting the things most of us are lucky to enjoy, she put a new twist on the matter by asking what I was fortunate enough to be able to give. Emphasizing that giving was not just about money, she suggested I attempt another list.
This included but was not limited to:

Smiling. helping a neighbor, playing with Lukas, calling two friends, writing two letters. helping a kid with a book recommendation...

Sound trite? Try it yourself for a week and see what you come up with. If you're feeling brave, include your efforts in the Comments.


A place which makes me smile...

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Just Ahead of the Swelter

It has been unseasonably warm here and after getting into a confrontation with my now former AC guy and getting a second opinion as well as discovering the source of my freon leak, I splashed cash on a new AC system.

It works, we are cool and we are also getting a bit sick. I am feverish and nauseated so my immediate plan is to return to bed. I hope all of you are well.

UPDATE: Both the nausea and vomiting and headache are gone since I've begun pushing fluids and I am no longer clammy. In hot weather, hydration is everything. Resting and happy I did not have to venture out to the hospital.