New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

HABITAT

LONG ISLAND

Last January, Villas on the Bay, a 42-unit condominium in East Moriches, Long Island, switched to Fairfield Properties, a larger property manager than the one it formerly had. The 30-year-old community had capital improvements on the horizon and thought Fairfield could get them better prices.

Underneath the Stewart Franklin Condominium, a 48-unit cond-op on Long Island, big changes are brewing. The board there has undertaken a complete overhaul of the boiler room, tearing out its two old boilers and installing a modern heating and hot water system. It's a project that's slated to last all summer and wrap up just in time for the cold to set in.

It is almost a mantra with Fred Rudd, the president of Rudd Realty. "You must have a balanced budget," he says firmly, noting that many co-op boards and condo associations make the mistake of trying to balance the budget by raiding the reserves. "Because of that, when it comes to a rainy day, they don't have adequate funds to deal with the problems as they arise."

The Blair House – at least its lobby and hallways – had possibly seen better days, but it was hard to tell. “Dark and dreary” is how one observer described them, with decades-old furniture crowding the lobby and dimly lit bulbs illuminating the long hallways at the 42-unit Great Neck, Long Island, co-op. “We felt it was time for a change,” recalls Naomi Schurr, a board member and chair of the five-person lobby committee. A refinancing provided the money and a shareholder who had recently redesigned her apartment provided the savior: Tina Tilzer, president of Art & Interiors, a redesign firm.

... a court rules against a Queens co-op that tried to evict an elderly couple when the asthmatic, severely allergic wife needed a disallowed air conditioner in order to, you know, breathe and live. Also: How to prep an apartment for sale, what to expect from brokers in 2012, and how condos are becoming like co-ops when it comes to admissions.

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