Sun, 26 August 2007
August 23, 2007
For the want of a nail, the shoe was lost; for the want of a shoe the horse was lost; and for the want of a horse the rider was lost, being overtaken and slain by the enemy, all for the want of care about a horseshoe nail." - -- Benjamin Franklin
This is Lynnsy Logue, The Real Estate Lady and Condo CanDo, Charlotte NC
Over the twenty some years I have been a real estate broker in Charlotte, I have been in almost every condominium and townhome complex in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. When I built the first database, I spent hours and hours at the Register of Deeds searching for all the complexes, days and weeks going to each complex, taking pictures (before digital cameras evolved), noting heat source, parking areas, construction and amenities. Today, I have a snapshot of over 700 complexes in my head. You have probably correctly surmised that I am passionate about the sector of our energetic marketplace. It is a challenge for even me to keep up with the proposed projects, the under construction projects, the announced projects, and the inactive projects…and that is part of the fascination I have with Charlotte Condominiums.
But this week, I witnessed something I have never seen before. And while I was not surprised, I was. A small condo building that was new some 20 years ago is undergoing incredible repair. First of all, it was, in my opinion, of marginal quality both in materials and workmanship. Secondly, because it is small, the owners elected to manage the property themselves. And for a myriad of reasons, the maintenance was lacking until more serious issues surfaced. For lack of caulking, painting and proper flashing, deterioration of the wooden structure grew quickly. At that point the owners decided to get bids for siding figuring that would solve their problems. They felt they would not have to paint again and that would put that maintenance issue to rest. But what followed led them to attorneys and lawsuits. Now a couple of years later, the replacement siding and the old are being removed, much of the infrastructure is being replaced: studs and headers. Supports for decks which were never according to code from the get-go are being constructed. New insulation or mostly new is being installed, new flashing where there was none and finally new siding. This time the windows will be wrapped and proper caulking standards will be followed.
I have been on site twice and was allowed to take pictures for my journal. The General Contractor on the job now was kind enough to show me the whole process. This is a perfect lesson in Condominium Care.
First, the condominium homes must be well built with good materials. Second, the units must be well maintained…inside and out. Hallways and byways. Landscaping and parking areas. Everything.
Condominium construction should be done as though the builder were building the units for his/her own family. Condominium ownership does not excuse the homeowner from caring.
I was sad to see the extent of the damage and the neglect, but not surprised.