American Microcosm: The Con-do Attitude

Condominium: (CON-doe-min-ee-um) n. From Latin for “domi” (home) and “con” (together).  Also from English for “con-dom,” meaning a small space for an uncomfortable screwing.

I made a huge mistake years ago in buying a condo unit.  Basically you get to own an apartment alongside people who want you to observe quiet hours and hate yardwork.  And then you get to pay a fee to an association to take care of all the issues, which usually will be a backed-up main-out for the building’s sewer system or the damage from that not being caught in time.

I compounded my idiocy by agreeing to be on the Board of Directors for the Association, which is combined with a few apartment buildings for reasons nobody can figure out.  Like many celebrity marriages, this coupling happened in the 1980’s probably around money and hidden agendas and has always been a lie about what’s really going on.  The grouping of Condos and Apartments into one association is like having the Montagues and Capulets in the same roller rink.  Sure, there’s rivalry and … No?  Um… Hatfields and McCoys?  Nothing, huh?  Well we shouldn’t be linked the way we are into one association.  And now I’m leading the effort to split the condos from the apartments to have a single association. New real estate rules, for most major lenders, state that they will not lend money for the purchase of a unit in an association that rents out >50% of its units.  The apartments are 80 units, the condos are 50, so we’re over the 50% and can’t get lending for people who wanna sell.  Refinancing is also rolled into this issue.

A few years ago when the market adjusted downwardly, which was actually a correction spurred by the predatory and Soul-committed-to-Hell lending practices of the fucking bank dicks.  Can’t pay + foreclosures = Lowered property values w/high mortgages and APRs (Astronomic Percentage Rape).  Again, people can’t get refinanced due the >50% rule.  So we’re trying to get our own world established and help everybody along.

I then pulled together a Dipshit’s Double and agreed to a SECOND TERM on the Board to allow for consistency in the transition.  It has been during this split that I have felt the most like a traditionally-defined American in my life.

  1. I am part of the “government,” yet hate the way it’s being run and still have little power to change things.
  2. Those who are not in the government dislike it and many believe it is poorly managed and has secrets.
  3. Everybody has the answer to make a perfect nation.  Nobody has any desire to put in any effort to see that world come to fruition.  2 hours a week is too much.
  4. Every new person sees only what’s wrong and how to fix it.  They speak before they ask.
  5. Ex-patriates fling negative comments back over the border, and are usually met with some courtesy.  Lately, however, I’ve taken to telling them how happy I am they are no longer part of the group. Get out. Stay out. Eat shit.
  6. Everybody wants it to be better.  We need far more money (taxes) and resources (workers) to make it better.  Nobody wants to give any more money, because the money given in the past has been perceived to have been misspent.  Still…
  7. The perceived misspending has ended up in the form of repaired decks, fences, unit cleaning and restoration following sewer back-ups and water damage, and higher insurance claims due to all.  A budget doesn’t dictate a course that needs corrections.
  8. Everybody is more concerned with the impact of the Association’s operation within their own walls, while the Association cares mostly about making sure the walls are strong, quiet, and free of rodents and rot.  What you do in your own hoarded filth is your business unless I can smell it.
  9. Good fences make good neighbors. And when those neighbors invite friends over who don’t respect fences, the neighbors have to be told at 7am that their boyfriend’s 185-lb mastiff really should not be dropping plops on the sidewalk.
  10. Nobody respects a financial fine without legal action. Give me a bill for $5 for “Lack of Communication,” I won’t pay it.  Put a boot on my car with a $200 bill for having an ugly paintjob, I’ll pay it and then have to fight The Man about the $200 and who determines what “ugly” is.
  1. Never buy a condo unless you’re over 45 and it is less than 10 years old.
  2. If you care, serve on the board. It’s usually volunteer, but a great lesson in why people don’t volunteer.  If you don’t, be helpful in your comments and feedback.
  3. If you can’t say anything nice, at least be civil.
  4. If you can’t be civil, eat shit.
  5. Remember, always buy the nicest house on the crappiest block, or the near-crappiest house on the nicest block.  Never buy the crappiest on the crappiest.

Ultimately we will end up splitting off and people can refi or sell.  Lotta short sales coming.  A few foreclosures, probably.  Good time to buy a place.  As long as it’s not a condo.

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About Geoff Lott

Geoff Lott is a "thinking person's comedian" as much as a "drinking person's comedian." Born and raised near Seattle, his writing and comedy is Cloudy with a Chance of Hope. Less offensive than your average nightly news program, Geoff is opinionated with intent, and a rebel without a clause. A comedian, actor, dad, husband, co-worker, weirdo, and great friend, Geoff Lott has a sense of humor like a sommelier's sense of smell; aged well, with a hint of dark chocolate, Irish whiskey, and leather. Credits and press kit available upon request!
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