Almost three years ago, Aaron approached us when he was ready to buy his first home. He’d wanted to be a homeowner since first coming to D.C. to work on Capitol Hill, and had been saving money while living with family, group houses, and with roommates over the years (sound familiar?).
Knowing he was most likely only interested in condos, he sat down with Dana and Anslie to talk about what he wanted – it’s always good to know both what you DO and what you DON’T want when you start your search.
He only wanted a one bedroom, preferred newer construction in a developing neighborhood, and wanted a building with few amenities, in order to keep his monthly HOA payment low.
Dana came up with a strategy, and took him out so that he could get a look at his various options in different neighborhoods in D.C. It wasn’t long before they found exactly what he wanted – a new construction condo just off of H St. NE.
Aaron moved in and quickly got to work making the place his own, as well as getting to know his neighbors. One of the building features of particular interest to him was the spacious roof deck with great views, along with grilling and dining areas for communal use. While enjoying the roof, he started to bump into others from the building quite regularly, and developed relationships.
Over the coming months he began to hear the “building gossip,” about ideas for changes he, and many of his neighbors, weren’t too keen about. Some of their suggestions he thought would:
- Be quite costly, and cause the modest condo fees to rise
- Disrupt the friendly, open dynamic the building currently enjoyed
With annual condo board elections approaching, Aaron decided to run. He went around the building gathering the signatures required to put his name on the ballot. He was elected as part of the five-member board with a year-long term.
Each month, he meets with the other board members, keeps up with the buildings financials, and helps ensure that the friendly vibe that the building community has created continues.
Of course, he’s now more prone to being stopped in the elevator so people can voice their opinions on any number of issues involving the building, but the response to him joining the board has been overwhelmingly positive. It also allowed him to meet and develop relationships with the few neighbors he had yet to meet.
As real estate agents, when our clients are buying condos, we always try to explain the role that a building’s board will play in your life when you live there. We encourage clients to get directly involved, that way you can be assured that the building is a comfortable place in which to live, and that your condo fees are being used properly – and working towards increasing property values for everyone.
If you’re considering buying and are thinking about a condo or coop, we’re happy to answer any questions, or offer advice. Email us at: Anslie@TheStokesGroup.com.