So we bought a condo 1.5 years ago. Right after we moved in we were told by the board that we would have to save 20 000 USD for a balcony rehabilitation project. We live on the 1st floor, and do not have a balcony buy law everyone in the building has to pay.
I was very annoyed because we were not told this when we bought the condo. I mean we did get a good price but I don't think we would have bought it if we would have known.
Fast forward a year and half yesterday we had our meeting to discuss the project. I did not go, but sent the bf because it was just easier for him to deal with it (for language reasons, plus I know this was going to be a bitter meeting, because a lot of people are in disagreement about the project).
The one hour meeting lasted nearly four hours. There were threats to kick people off the board, to move, ectera..
It resulted in that yes we have to pay for the balconies BUT we will get our own terrace. Currently we have a door from our bedroom to a huge common backyard. If the proposed plan gets approved next spring we will have a little terrace out there connected to our door.
This is good news, as I mean at least know the 20 000 we have to pay, will go towards something nice for our property and increases its value.
Will it increase our property by 20 000? I doubt it but it is better than nothing.
The devestating news is, I've only been out of grad school for a year and a half now, my boyfriend 6 months. We have only about 12 000 in savings. We are both planning on starting school in August 2010. Our savings which we imagined to be around 20/25000, by the time we start were supposed to support us when we go back to school and pay for a wedding. After we pay for the balcony project we will have nothing.
Further, we do not want to sell our condo until after the project is done, which could take as much as a year and half from now! We were hoping to sell this spring. It should be no problem to rent it out, and house prices in Norway are on the way up, so it's not so bad to hold on to it, it's more the fact that we won't have the money for a downpayment on a small house in the US when we move back.
I guess what annoys me most is that I've worked so hard to save since I started working full time a year and a half ago, and I am proud of my savings and planning. I am really sad that all my savings are going to just disappear.