As I returned home from the airport last week and rounded the corner on 14th Avenue, I immediately noticed how much improved our complex looks! The conclusion of the landscape renovation on the west side represents a huge milestone in the investment that we all made in upgrading our properties’ resilience and appearance, which started more than 5 years ago. Painting, roofs, skylights, impact garage doors, mansards, gates, irrigation, exterior lighting, palm planting, shrub, and tree removal…..we have truly left no stone unturned and it shows! The appearance of our community has become something we can now take pride in.
Two years ago, our average sales price was in the mid $300,000’s and is now trending towards the upper $400,000’s. One unit just sold for $500,000. Our average property remains on the market for only a short time, sometimes just a few days. The value in our location and our construction is becoming evident.
Some of this can be attributed to the hot real estate market and record low interest rates but we are outpacing the local market at a rate that can only be attributable to the diligence we have had in maintaining our property. Our residents have invested in maintenance and significant upgrades to their properties despite the expense.
It now looks prescient that we began our makeover before the recent run-up in the cost of materials and labor. For example, the recent mansard rebuilding project, which used hundreds of sheets of plywood, would have been double the cost.
We are approaching our 40-year inspection in much better shape than many other complexes who chose the cheaper path and now face exorbitant assessments to get back on top, or unfortunately, worse consequences.
However, we still have much work to do. Some interior swales will soon be replanted with the proceeds from our landscaping improvement fund. The pool needs a major makeover. Some of the back gates still need replacement or powder coating in the bronze color. The interior alley needs new irrigation and replanting. Our pavers, entrance gates, and entry call boxes are at the end of their useful service life. Many owners have still not replaced the problematic original plumbing or the thin non-insulative or soundproof windows that were originally installed and which can greatly increase a unit’s value.
But from an HOA perspective, we are in control of our maintenance costs and our reserves are solid. No expensive structural issue has been brought to my attention or evidenced by cracking or spaulding the concrete. I am confident we will pass our 40-year inspection with only minor issues and can pace our future maintenance and improvement expenses at a rate we can afford without further assessments.
At a meeting not long ago a resident argued that there is absolutely no value in an HOA. He argued that the association doesn’t add to the value of our property or perform a useful function. I would disagree with that statement and point to the recent collapse of Champlain Towers as my case in point of what happens when an association fails its’ residents. However, I would agree with him that without the benefit of positive members who are willing to invest in their properties and allow the board to fulfill its responsibilities, something we are lucky to have at Victoria Park Place, an HOA truly does not hold any value.
I would like to extend a huge “thank you” from our board of directors to each of our owners for their willingness to invest in our property and, despite the sometimes bitter debate, allow the board to fulfill its responsibilities.
President, VPP HOA