Page 18 - New England Condominium November 2021
P. 18

18 NEW ENGLAND CONDOMINIUM   -NOVEMBER 2021    NEWENGLANDCONDO.COM  Flynn Law Group  185 Devonshire St., Suite 401 • Boston, MA 02110  617-988-0633  “Quality Representation at Reasonable Rates - $150/Hr.”  Contact Attorney Frank Flynn  ATTORNEYS  See Our Display Ad on Page 17  See Our Display Ad on Page 7  Condominium and Real Estate Law  Phone: (781) 817-4900    Direct: (781) 817-4603  Fax:     (781) 817-4910  We may be dressed up, but we aren’t afraid to   get our hands dirty.  Merrill & McGeary  100 State Street, Suite 200  Boston, MA 02109  617-523-1760 • Fax 617-523-4893  Contact: Mike Merrill, Esq.  ACCOUNTANTS  David A. Levy, CPA, P.C.    Certified Public Accountants  20 Freeman Place  Needham, MA  02492  Tel:  (617) 566-3645       (866) 842-0108  Fax:  (866) 681-2377    DAL  CPA  Accounting • Auditing • Taxes • Consulting  Worcester 67 Millbrook Street   508-797-5200  Grafton  80 Worcester Street  508-839-0020  Holden  795 Main Street   508-829-5544  M Love Associates,  &  LLC  Certified Public Accountants  Serving Condominium Associations  mlove 2.25 x 2.5 condo association color 9.19.2017.indd   1  9/19/17   12:59 PM  Please submit Pulse items to  Pat Gale at  “The problem is when you’ve jumped   around too much, and then you have that   one catastrophe, your carrier is likely to   cancel you going forward. As long as you   know that the pricing is fair and equi-  table—and how one determines that is   admittedly a good question—it’s  better   to have a long-term relationship with a   carrier. I’d rather have a long-term car-  rier with whom I can negotiate inspec-  tions and replacement analysis reports to   make sure that I’m covered properly; that   to me is the prudence of a directorship,   rather than going out and getting the low   price every year. You’re not likely to save   money by jumping around.”  Finally, Resnick hammers home the   importance of transparency when deal-  ing with an insurance provider: “Misrep-  resent anything in your application, and   shame on you,” he says. “Because you’re   buying insurance so that it responds the   way that it’s supposed to, should you need   it. If the carrier sees that you misrepre-  sented something, they have grounds to   decline the claim based on false informa-  tion. However, if you didn’t falsify any-  thing, and they provided the policy, you   have grounds to sue them for what they’d   said they’d insure you for. So always tell   the insurance provider the gospel. And   if you don’t know the answer, be upfront   about that.”   n  Cooper Smith is a staff writer/reporter for   New England Condominium.  son, it is essential to vet potential con-  tractors, check references, and review   past work that they have completed.”  Lastly, Alimonti advises that regu-  lar inspections of condo high-rises are   critically important. “I believe that every   building, especially condos, should be   required to perform an integrity inspec-  tion every five years by local government   law or regulations, to establish a base-  line for slab on grade, basement, façade   and vertical walls, waterproofing, roof,   terraces, etc. Regular monitoring of the   integrity of the façade allows for protec-  tion of the building—especially the ex-  terior envelope—and most importantly   protects the residents from potential di-  sasters.”                                                      n  A J Sidransky is a staff writer/reporter   for New England Condominium, and a pub-  lished novelist. He can be reached at alan@   FAÇADE...  continued from page 17  INSURANCE...  continued from page 7  While the publication’s latest list of “Best   Places to Retire” does include a host of cities   in sunny Florida, Manchester, New Hamp-  shire, captured a spot among the top 25.   And a handful of other New England cit-  ies weren’t too far behind: Portland, Maine,   at  #30;  Springfield, Massachusetts,  #31;   Worcester, Massachusetts, #35; and Hart-  ford, Connecticut, #36. Boston came in at   a more distant #43 and New Haven, Con-  necticut at #60.  So what characteristics landed Manches-  ter among the likes of Florida’s Sarasota,   Naples, and Daytona Beach? The lack of a   general sales tax and personal income tax   helped, along with housing costs below the   national average ($291,367 vs. $315,743)   and a good “quality of life,” scoring 7.3 on a   10-point scale.   The city, incidentally, also ranked an at-  tractive #6 on the magazine’s “Safest Places   to Live” list.  Rental Prices on the Rise  While the median sales prices of houses   has dipped in recent months, and listings   have been dropping, rental prices are on the   rise.  As builders struggle to meet the demand,   facing supply shortages, longer lead times,   and skyrocketing  materials prices, those   supply and demand imbalances have left   first-time homebuyers in renting mode, ac-  cording to a report from the Massachusetts   Association of Realtors.  So far this year, the national median rent   rose 11.4%, according to the report.  With that as a backdrop, consider this:    a typical one-bedroom apartment in Cam-  bridge is now going for $2,580, followed by   Boston, at $2,410, and Brookline, at $2,200,   according to Zumper’s Boston Metro Area   Report.   By comparison, five North Shore com-  munities had the least-expensive rents, with   Haverhill being the most affordable, with   the typical one-bedroom priced at $1,420   per month, followed by Salem and Mal-  den, which both have rents at $1,670, and   Medford and Beverly, with rents at $1,730,   Zumper’s noted.  Monthly Fees for Condos & Co-ops Up All   Over the U.S.  The Community Associations Institute   (CAI) estimates that 74 million Americans   live in communities managed by homeown-  ers associations, of which condos account   for 35% to 40%. That’s a lot of people —   many of whom may be in for a nasty shock   when they go to pay their monthly common   charges, if they haven’t already gotten one.   Bloomberg   and   Crain’s New York Business   are among the outlets reporting on the na-  tional trend of surging carrying charges for   condos, co-ops, and HOAs. The monthly   fees paid by owners of units in multifamily   communities and buildings for the upkeep   of common elements, utilities, taxes, per-  sonnel, and other shared costs have risen   significantly this year, in large part due to   rising energy costs, but also to repairs, wage   increases, and unforeseen expenses related   to COVID.  Crain’s   cites data from real estate data ag-  gregator Zillow indicating that the national   monthly median condo fee increased 19%   this year, from about $379 in August 2020   to about $451 in August 2021. As the out-  let points out, that increase means that unit   owners have had to find an additional $900   in their household budgets this year.    The services that most associations rely   on, such as landscaping, plumbing, and   construction in general, have seen short-  ages in both labor and supplies in recent   months, forcing vendors to increase prices.   This in turn adds up for associations, whose   residents are ultimately responsible for such   costs through the monthly common charg-  es. These shortages, in addition to overall   inflation, have also increased the costs of   energy and utilities nationwide.  Second-Home Sales Soared in Pandemic  The demand for second homes has risen   dramatically since the coronavirus pandem-  ic hit in 2020, according to a report from   Redfin.  A recent Redfin analysis of mortgage-  rate lock data from real estate analytics firm   Optimal Blue shows that demand for second   homes was 60% higher in September than it   was  before  the  coronavirus  pandemic  hit.   That’s a slowdown from the record 112%   surge seen in March 2021, but a boost from   July’s 40% gain.  Redfin noted that a combination of low   interest rates on home loans, pandemic-  era savings and the hybrid-work revolution   have made it more feasible for people —not   just the ultra-rich— to live a dual lifestyle.  “The  pandemic,”  Redfin  reported,  “led   many to reevaluate this lifestyle choice, up-  ending global housing markets. Prices sky-  rocketed and bidding wars abounded in the   suburbs, while demand plummeted in many   big cities. Now, those who can afford it want   both.”  About 19% of respondents in Knight   Frank’s 2021 Global Buyer Survey said they   moved since the start of the pandemic. And   33% of respondents in that survey said they   were more likely to buy a second home as   a result of the pandemic, up from 26% the   prior year.   “With the rise of remote working, second   homes or ‘co-primaries’ are becoming a vi-  able option for more buyers seeking a better   work/life balance,” the Knight-Frank survey   reported.    n  PULSE  continued from page 4  See Our Display Ad on Page 17

   16   17   18   19   20