Sunday, May 23, 2010

High End Condos, Maintenance Fees and Sustanability

As I read the Sunday May 23, 2010 edition of the Maui News about the dilemma's that high end condo owners are facing with foreclosures as one aspect, but Condo Maintenance fees being a big part of it.

They talk about monthly maintenance fees of around $1000.00 per month. This seems crazy to me, but apparently it didn't to many that bought these places for more than they are worth now.

The first thing that comes to my mind is that I remember growing up and going camping in the areas that now hold all these high end developments. As it was then and surrounding these places, it's a total dry land area. So to create then and then landscape them and dress them out to look tropical with water sucking vegetation seems like one of the big problems.

Perhaps if the landscaping was converted to plants or even no plants to minimize the water usage, they could not only help preserve our precious commodity of water, but drastically reduce their cost of the maintenance fees. I'm sure beyond other amenities such as gyms, pools and spas, the landscaping has to be a major portion of the cost.

I live in the sun drenched, windy central valley and while I accept that the lawn, which is very small anyways, will ultimately dry up seasonally and then come back in the rainy season, I find that my automatic sprinklers system only requires about 4 minutes a day of water and set for about 4:30am to prevent evaporation. So it seems that it is possible to make even small changes and still have a pretty nice landscape. My neighbors can spend an hour and usually more in the late afternoon with the garden hose watering their lawn, which is not much bigger than mine and yet their lawn in most cases is no greener than mine and in many cases is actually less green.

Just some of those things that make you scratch your head and wonder why this isn't apparent to others that should be thinking seriously about these things.

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