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How to Foster Compromise in your Community

The Challenge

The population and demographics of buildings are rapidly changing. Boards and management must be cognizant and address the issues concerning two different populations of owners. Many of our buildings are comprised of “original” or long-term owners, who purchased their apartments at insider price or fair market value in the 1970s and 1980s. These apartments have dramatically increased in value and the owners have significant equity in their apartments, but are retired and are on fixed incomes. The newer population is composed of younger, wealthier owners with large incomes and assets, who are seeking improvements in the building in the form of amenities, aesthetic improvements, and increased staff. The aging population is often squeezed by the maintenance increase and assessments needed to fund the capital plan. As a managing agent, we are in the middle of that divide.

The Solution

Compromises are necessary to retain the sense of community in a building. Board and building battles and adversity detrimentally affect the quality of life in a building and apartment values. Look for funding solutions that help cash flow of our aging population. Increasing borrowing, using lines of credit, and extending assessments can all provide “cash flow” relief.

The Lesson

Implement the necessary compromises that will result in both building improvements and amenities, and have a payment plan that allows an aging population to remain in their homes.

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