Due to a lack of buildable land on Oahu, developers are forced to build high-rise condos. Like owning a single-family home, condos need routine maintenance too.
As condos get older, homeowner associations are faced with difficult decisions. Generally speaking, older condos need more care. However, new condos, even luxury condos, can have issues too.
For many older condos, homeowners are concerned about the dredged plumbing retrofit. When I first got into real estate, I had a listing at Atkinson Plaza. As we were listed, the condo was undergoing a major common area repiping project. For a person with no construction background and experience, this was a sight to see. Thankfully, we were still able to sell the unit.
Quoted in a Hawaii Business Magazine article, Kimo Pierce, president of Hawaii Plumbing Group, says "condo associations should start looking at replacing their pipes at 40 years and be ready to start the project at 45 years."
I recently heard a newer luxury condo has serious plumbing issues. Apparently, the association insurance deductible is hundreds of thousands of dollars. That is not a typo. When I first heard that, I thought it was an error too. I feel horrible for the homeowners because something like this can devalue the condo and every homeowners H06 insurance premium will probably increase too. Ouch...
Last month, the Honolulu Star Advertiser wrote an article about a water leak affecting homeowners in Ewa Beach. Plumbing issues just do not occur in high-rise condos. According to the article, an average of 500,000 gallons of water is leaking per day! What is interesting is the four homeowner associations involved do not know where the leaks are occurring. The reason is, the subsurface is porous and the water disappears without a trace.
What about the homeowners? Well, the article mentions the repair will cost $5 million. Depending on what each condo board does, homeowners might be assessed and their monthly maintenance fee can increase too.
As a homeowner, there are many things you can do to mitigate risk. First, make sure you are properly insured. At least once or twice a year, you should schedule a meeting with your insurance agent to review your policy. Second, if your home belongs to an association, you should attend the association meetings. This will allow you to directly communicate with the board of directors. Third, be proactive with your home maintenance.
For example, let's say you own a condo. Most condos will have the water heater inside the unit. The last thing you want is your water heater to leak and flood your unit. This actually happened to a few owners at the condo I live in. If your water heater is 6-7 years old, you should probably change it. Some condos actually require homeowners to change their water heater so many years.
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Are you looking to remodel your home? Upgrading your toilet can be a simple home remodel project. Here are some things to consider:
Measure the rough-in size. This is usually 12 inches.
Measure the height of the toilet. Taller toilets can be more comfortable.
One piece or two piece. Most people use two piece. However, one piece can be easier to clean.
There are two types of bowls. Round bowls might be better for smaller spaces. If you had a spacious bathroom, perhaps an elongated bowl might be better.
Gravity flush vs. low flush. Most people have gravity flush toilets. If you want to conserve water, low flush toilets could be a better option.
Don't forget to add a new wax seal. If you're going to add new flooring, you might have to install a wax seal extender so your wax seal gets the proper seal on the bottom of the toilet.
Did you know Benjamin Moore's color of the year is October Mist 1495? A nice coat of paint can go a long way.
The Second City
Kapolei is being built. It was recently announced that another home will be developed out in West Oahu. This 204-unit hotel will be under the Marriott brand. Although Waikiki and Koolina are our main tourist destinations, hotels in Kapolei give tourist another alternative option.
It was recently announced that Target will open at the former Sears space at Windard Mall. This two level space consists of 128,000 square feet.
Stay safe and healthy