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Re: Logistics of 2 Family Home in the Heights
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I have no idea if there is an arbitration clause built into the bylaws. In answer to Brewster's question, we have kept a positive balance in our account solely through the good will of the members, who value their investment in the building. I suppose we are lucky to have had such responsible owners over the years.

Posted on: 4/20 8:11
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Re: Logistics of 2 Family Home in the Heights
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I owned in a 5 unit building that was self managed and it was ok. In the case of ownership percentage, all owners have equal voting rights regardless of the percentage of ownership in the structure. I was lucky that the way my association was set up all units paid the same maintenance fee which worked out for me because I had the largest unit. That's why I would be curious to hear from someone that bought in a 2 unit to see if there's an arbitration clause built into the by-laws.


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karindiann wrote:
I'm part of a 4-unit condo association, and we have a bank account and pay our own bills -- no outside management company needed. Somebody has to volunteer to write the checks and do the bookkeeping (basically a thankless job).

In our association, all of the units have a slightly different square footage and pay a different percentage of common expenses. I think this would probably be true of a 2-unit building as well -- and give one owner more weight in the case of disagreement.

I remember the developer of our building had set up the association before the units were sold, which I assume is a requirement if you are selling condo units.

Posted on: 4/12 13:46
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Re: Logistics of 2 Family Home in the Heights
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Quote:

brewster wrote:
Quote:

karindiann wrote:
I'm part of a 4-unit condo association, and we have a bank account and pay our own bills -- no outside management company needed. Somebody has to volunteer to write the checks and do the bookkeeping (basically a thankless job).

In our association, all of the units have a slightly different square footage and pay a different percentage of common expenses. I think this would probably be true of a 2-unit building as well -- and give one owner more weight in the case of disagreement.

I remember the developer of our building had set up the association before the units were sold, which I assume is a requirement if you are selling condo units.


How do you maintain funds in the checking, and make sure everyone is complying? Is it like an escrow where you keep it above a certain level?


I'm not a lawyer (or the original poster), but from my own reading a couple years ago:
-If you establish a Condo Association (CA), you establish what services the CA is to perform and you collect appropriate fees.
-There are different ways to calculate the funds you want to keep in reserve depending on what falls under the umbrella of responsibility for the CA. (if it is just normal maintenance or if the CA is also responsible for the roof or HVAC). If a CA is underfunded, your appraisal could be negatively affected.
-While not usually escrowed, if CA fees are not paid, a property could be put in foreclosure, but on a 2-unit property any kind of legal fight might wipe out all the funds and leave both owners on the hook to replenish the CA.

Posted on: 4/12 11:00
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Re: Logistics of 2 Family Home in the Heights
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Quote:

karindiann wrote:
I'm part of a 4-unit condo association, and we have a bank account and pay our own bills -- no outside management company needed. Somebody has to volunteer to write the checks and do the bookkeeping (basically a thankless job).

In our association, all of the units have a slightly different square footage and pay a different percentage of common expenses. I think this would probably be true of a 2-unit building as well -- and give one owner more weight in the case of disagreement.

I remember the developer of our building had set up the association before the units were sold, which I assume is a requirement if you are selling condo units.


How do you maintain funds in the checking, and make sure everyone is complying? Is it like an escrow where you keep it above a certain level?

Posted on: 4/11 22:08
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Re: Logistics of 2 Family Home in the Heights
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I'm part of a 4-unit condo association, and we have a bank account and pay our own bills -- no outside management company needed. Somebody has to volunteer to write the checks and do the bookkeeping (basically a thankless job).

In our association, all of the units have a slightly different square footage and pay a different percentage of common expenses. I think this would probably be true of a 2-unit building as well -- and give one owner more weight in the case of disagreement.

I remember the developer of our building had set up the association before the units were sold, which I assume is a requirement if you are selling condo units.

Posted on: 4/11 19:11
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Re: Logistics of 2 Family Home in the Heights
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I'll look into whatever law there are regarding the requirement of having a HoA in a 2 family and report back when/if I find anything. Though, it seems like the whether or not this is required, its in everyone's best interest to have one, if only to prevent the commingling of funds if you choose to efficiently self-manage as Brewster suggests.

I am similarly curious if there are generally abitration/mediation clauses in the HoA by-laws since I've read that its usually the developer who basically sets these upon the creation of the HoA (and I don't envision many people going to the trouble of changing them once they're set).

That being said, while arbitration and/or mediation isn't cheap (and definitely a headache if things have gotten to that point), it seems as though most developers try to minimize common elements to the extent possible (i.e. just driveway, garage, front door, foyer, and common steps/hallway).

Posted on: 4/10 16:19
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Re: Logistics of 2 Family Home in the Heights
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I'm curious to know if your by-laws have an arbitration clause? Hoping that you will happen to get along with an owner you don't know before purchase is taking a pretty big chance.


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rscott wrote:
It can go either way - I'm in a 2 unit condo association and it's fine, while those in the other unit had terrible experiences with the association in their previous (large) building. It just depends on who the other owners are!

Posted on: 4/10 15:45
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Re: Logistics of 2 Family Home in the Heights
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No outside management company needed, association pays bills (has a bank account).

Posted on: 4/10 14:16
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Re: Logistics of 2 Family Home in the Heights
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Quote:

caj11 wrote:
I'll put in my 2 cents here, hopefully it helps.

When looking at a 2-family home like the one you spoke of, because the duplex shared a sewer line, a realtor told me the law required an HOA to be formed and an outside management company to handle payment of water and sewer bills. I don't know if there is such a law, and though it seems silly to use an outside management company just to pay a water bill for 2 units (because there probably won't be much else for them to do), but I think it is a necessary evil because the water/sewer bill has to be paid somehow and who wants to deal with the awkwardness of asking your neighbor for money every month.


I can think of so many other ways to handle that. If it were me, I'd open a bank account in the HOA name and require a certain balance be maintained by regular transfers for common charges like sewer, hallway lights, and minor common maintenance. If the balance gets higher than, say, 300% the usual outlay the association can agree to suspend a month. It's not like the hired manager would have any more leverage over a recalcitrant member than the other member.

Posted on: 4/10 13:13
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Re: Logistics of 2 Family Home in the Heights
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I'll put in my 2 cents here, hopefully it helps.

When looking at a 2-family home like the one you spoke of, because the duplex shared a sewer line, a realtor told me the law required an HOA to be formed and an outside management company to handle payment of water and sewer bills. I don't know if there is such a law, and though it seems silly to use an outside management company just to pay a water bill for 2 units (because there probably won't be much else for them to do), but I think it is a necessary evil because the water/sewer bill has to be paid somehow and who wants to deal with the awkwardness of asking your neighbor for money every month.

Posted on: 4/10 12:28
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Re: Logistics of 2 Family Home in the Heights
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How do you deal with the tandem spot (assuming you have one)?

Posted on: 4/10 12:16
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Re: Logistics of 2 Family Home in the Heights
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It can go either way - I'm in a 2 unit condo association and it's fine, while those in the other unit had terrible experiences with the association in their previous (large) building. It just depends on who the other owners are!

Posted on: 4/10 9:19
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Re: Logistics of 2 Family Home in the Heights
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I always thought the concept was very weird. What if you wind up not getting along with the other owner? I'm totally speculating here, but I would think that a 2 unit condo building would have an arbitration clause put into the by-laws to protect each party in the event of a dispute. I personally wouldn't buy a condo in less than a 5 unit building.


Posted on: 4/9 15:57
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Re: Logistics of 2 Family Home in the Heights
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I apologize for being unclear. Yes. Debating the merits of purchasing one half of a 2 family. Technically a condo.

Posted on: 4/9 15:41
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Re: Logistics of 2 Family Home in the Heights
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it sounds like you're trying to buy an apartment in a 2-family home, not the entire home, is that right? Because if you're buying the entire house I'm not sure why tandem parking or an HOA would be an issue.

Posted on: 4/9 10:41
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Re: Logistics of 2 Family Home in the Heights
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Quote:

TheNewGuy wrote:
Tried doing a search to see what information I could get on this topic, but I mostly just found complaints/suggestions regarding the aesthetics of the "bayonne box."

I was hoping to get people's experiences (good and bad) with the 2 family homes that seem to be ubiquitous in the heights. Seems like there's very little single family home inventory and the little inventory there seem to need a buyer that have the time/patience/resources for significant improvements (for what I'm looking for).

But, given they're all over the place, I guess the 2 family is really quite the norm and many people deal with them.

Specifically, I was wondering:

(1) tandem parking - how much of a pain is it sharing a tandem spot with a second family? Most of what I've seen have a driveway and a garage, but "deeded" parking. Seems to me that having a tandem spot severely limits the convenience of having a parking spot (but I guess better than the alternative if street parking is as scarce as I've read).

(2) 2 unit HoA. I may just be a pessimist, but do people generally have no issues having a 50/50 stake in the condo association? Does anything get done if, god forbid, theres a dispute? Or, worse yet, if the 2nd family and you are antagonistic?

(3) if the second family ends up leaving or renting - is it tough to get a lender if you want to sell (owner/occupant ratio)?

TIA


Two family is preferred since you can live in one unit and have a renter pay for the taxes and other maintenance in the other. If you have a car, simply don't include the parking space as part of the lease and you'll find a tenant that doesn't own a car or is willing to do street parking.

I don't know anything about a 2 unit HOA. Good luck with that one. But being the owner of a 2 unit home is a much different thing.

Posted on: 4/9 10:29
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Logistics of 2 Family Home in the Heights
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Tried doing a search to see what information I could get on this topic, but I mostly just found complaints/suggestions regarding the aesthetics of the "bayonne box."

I was hoping to get people's experiences (good and bad) with the 2 family homes that seem to be ubiquitous in the heights. Seems like there's very little single family home inventory and the little inventory there seem to need a buyer that have the time/patience/resources for significant improvements (for what I'm looking for).

But, given they're all over the place, I guess the 2 family is really quite the norm and many people deal with them.

Specifically, I was wondering:

(1) tandem parking - how much of a pain is it sharing a tandem spot with a second family? Most of what I've seen have a driveway and a garage, but "deeded" parking. Seems to me that having a tandem spot severely limits the convenience of having a parking spot (but I guess better than the alternative if street parking is as scarce as I've read).

(2) 2 unit HoA. I may just be a pessimist, but do people generally have no issues having a 50/50 stake in the condo association? Does anything get done if, god forbid, theres a dispute? Or, worse yet, if the 2nd family and you are antagonistic?

(3) if the second family ends up leaving or renting - is it tough to get a lender if you want to sell (owner/occupant ratio)?

TIA

Posted on: 4/8 14:05
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