I find that many people that live a condominium life-style, take maintenance issues for granted. If you’ve owned a single family home, but then moved to a condo, you sometimes think, “Wow, no more lawn to mow, no more AC system to service, etc.” And there is also a HUGE mistaken idea that because you pay this monthly HOA fee, that some “things are just taken care of with that.”
Condominium Maintenance — Did You Know?
Nothing could be further from the truth. No, you don’t have a lawn to mow, but you DO have systems unique to your condominium that YOU are responsible for, NOT THE HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION! NO, you’re kidding me, right?
- Heating and Air Conditioning System — Is YOUR responsibility to have serviced and checked. While it may not need it as often as a condensing unit that sits on the ground outside of a house, imagine the “wear and tear” that unit takes in the beating hot sun on the roof of a condo building. It might serve you well (an your pocket book) to have it serviced once a year.
- Hot Water Heater — If you live in a condominium, when is the last time you had your hot water heater drained, flushed and refilled? I’m going to go out on a limb and guess……NEVER! You probably figure you won’t live there for the average 10 year life of the hot water heater, right? Well the age of the system DOES play a factor when a Buyer comes along. Get ready to pay for a home warranty as part of your sales process. That new Buyer is going to want some protection.
But what really sent me off on this topic this morning was something I recently experienced. I do own a single family home, and had to recently have a new sewer line installed to the tune of almost $4,000. Up until that point, I frequently washed greasy dishes and sent food scraps down my garbage disposal. I bet you condo dwellers think nothing of it, right? After all, who wants that stinky food in the garbage can when we have a garbage disposal.
Atlanta City Councilmen Alex Wan (who covers a portion of Midtown Atlanta) sent out his newsletter this week. I was reading through it, and a section from Watershed Management (the part of the city that maintains the sewer system) made me think….
What happens in a 30 story condo building if the sewer lines were to back up from a grease buildup, say on the 20th floor? Where do you suppose all that water AND SEWER could end up? IN YOUR CONDO!!! And if you’ve never experienced a “water event” in a high-rise condo building, they can be very destructive. Repairable, at much expense, but a mess nonetheless.
Watch this video, and the next time you finish dinner and are washing the pots, pans and dishes, think twice about WHAT you send down that 20 or 30 story high sewer line.