Posts Tagged ‘inhouse’

A Co-Op Nightmare: When Conflict Rules, Part 1

February 2, 2014

Conflict, many persons

Conflict: When a cooperative divides.

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WHENEVER WE’RE ASKED TO ASSIST WITH RESOLVING RESIDENTIAL COOPERATIVE complaints and instances of noncooperation we generally see fingers pointing in all directions: From shareholders towards their board of directors and property managers; from the board or manager towards shareholders; and/or from one group of shareholders to another.

How can this be? With the very term “cooperative” suggesting folks will cooperate, what causes the breakdown? Unfortunately there may be many factors at play, meaning identification of the culprits can be a tricky undertaking. An organizational division can stem from almost anything if not properly handled and even then it may still occur. Examples are: A seemingly inconsequential two-neighbor spat that grows to encompass the community; the effect of no regular purposeful interaction between the board as an entity and shareholders as individuals; board members or officers who are not properly trained to perform their tasks; or shareholders who aren’t taught ways they may participate in and monitor cooperative operations.

Since complaints against a board appear more commonplace, though not always deserved, we’ll begin with that aspect here. In other writings we’ll look at problems some boards have with shareholders as well as problems that occur when shareholders take sides.

Overall, if a cooperative board does not conduct its affairs openly (except for executive session items), if it doesn’t endeavor to generate shareholder interest in and contributions to operational matters (interaction), and if it isn’t aggressive in assuring a steady flow of accurate communication with shareholders, there is little, if any, transparency of cooperative business. Since shareholders are generally entitled to have this information, lack of transparency should be expected to cause  negative speculation (gossip) that likely translates into suspicion which, in turn, could ignite a slow-burning distrust that incubates just under the surface, covertly evolving into shareholder noncooperation, and complaints to the board as well as to governmental authorities. Moreover, distrust can flare into serious disruptions of cooperative business that may seem to have no basis, though usually do, or it may explode into lawsuits.

Naturally, none of the foregoing dismisses the possibility of legitimate grounds for a complaint. The problem is taking the time to find it objectively and avoid jumping to premature conclusions, especially when its embedded in misperception or distortion. Taking action on wrong information can make the situation worse, perhaps much worse, but not seeking to resolve it in a deliberate and timely manner may lead to other consequences. For these reasons the process can be painstaking but if conducted properly, implementing findings that are produced can offer an opportunity to restore and improve cooperative relationships and efficiency … provided, of course, all parties are genuinely willing to accept indicated reform. If the matter polarized or became encrusted in spite, bias or personality conflict it becomes increasingly involved and may be more difficult to correct, though the prospect of a fruitful outcome should make the effort worthwhile.

So what can be done to help avoid such occurrences in the first place? We’ll discuss this next time in part 2 of this article.

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To go to the Inhouse Corporation website click here or contact us at inhouseco@aol.com

Blog Terms of Use and Disclaimer: The purpose of this blog is to promote awareness and general discussion of the presented topic. Use of this blog shall be the reader’s agreement that at no time will the reader rely upon or act upon anything contained or implied in this blog and that any and all actions that may be taken shall be under the specific guidance and oversight and/or performance of a professional qualified in the subject matter. If you have a question or want assistance with a featured or related matter please contact us at InhouseCo@aol.com (include the blog article title on the subject line). Links, references and credits in this blog are for convenience only and are not endorsements by the author or Inhouse Corporation.

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Manufactured Housing: A Reputation Revisited

January 26, 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Street scene of properly managed manufactured home community (Inhouse Corporation photo).

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WHENEVER  A MANUFACTURED HOME COMMUNITY is mentioned what does your mind perceive? Is it a decent place where folks of modest means can affordably own a home and enjoy a plot of land, or is it a ramshackle and rundown collection of “trailers” sitting amid weeds within an arm’s length of each other?

Although most folks have become more familiar with manufactured homes and manufactured home communities, some of the old negative stereotypes and misconceptions still seem to persist — as was evidenced during a recent discussion with other real estate agents. Some of those agents convey a sense that such homes do not standup well and decline in value while their communities deteriorate to unflattering conditions. They speak in terms that imply the homes themselves are to blame.

To be sure, such misperceptions have been addressed by manufactured home representatives numerous times in the past. So we’ll just briefly touch upon these issues here.

Despite being built to the same construction codes, are there manufactured homes of good to excellent quality? Yes, indeed. And are there manufactured homes of lesser quality? Yes, of course. But on the flip side of that same coin are there not stick-built homes of good to excellent quality while some stick-built homes have lesser quality … even though they are all fashioned under the same building code? Yup.

So why should manufactured homes be viewed as though the structures themselves are devilishly possessed by some monstrous intent to unnaturally force their own deterioration? Obviously, they should not be. If the owner of any structure does not maintain it, the structure degrades whether it is manufactured or stick-built.

Moreover, with all other factors being favorable, whether a structure is manufactured or stick-built if it is properly maintained it will either keep or increase its value.

Similar rationale should be applied to manufactured home communities. After all, if an apartment complex falls into disrepair most folks blame its management for the problem. The same should be true if a crumbling manufactured home community is encountered. It is not the homes within that community causing the trouble. Most times it is the lack of appropriate property management.

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To go to the Inhouse Corporation website click here or contact us at inhouseco@aol.com

Blog Terms of Use and Disclaimer: The purpose of this blog is to promote awareness and general discussion of the presented topic. Use of this blog shall be the reader’s agreement that at no time will the reader rely upon or act upon anything contained or implied in this blog and that any and all actions that may be taken shall be under the specific guidance and oversight and/or performance of a professional qualified in the subject matter. If you have a question or want assistance with a featured or related matter please contact us at InhouseCo@aol.com (include the blog article title on the subject line). Links, references and credits in this blog are for convenience only and are not endorsements by the author or Inhouse Corporation.

Credit Score: When Closing Accounts May Go Wrong

January 19, 2014

2014-01-18 - Credit App Review
Inhouse Corporation photo. See Disclaimer below.  

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Not too long ago we helped unravel a situation worth mentioning: If you will soon apply to rent (or purchase) a home, be wary of closing zero balance accounts.

What does this mean? Evidently some prospective tenants with many credit cards believe a landlord rental application review can be improved by “strengthening” their credit reports through consolidation of debts on several credit cards into just one or two cards then closing the others that have a zero balance. Perhaps they think reducing total available credit lines will not only decrease their ability to use credit but also have the converse effect of somehow amplifying the perceived purchasing power of their income. Since their earnings and overall expenses are likely to be stable during the landlord’s review process, at first glimpse  such a thought process may appear appropriate … though in reality an adverse result from account closures is probable and more likely to occur in the near-term.

Of course, having too much available credit for a given amount of income can be a negative factor. But voluntarily closing accounts should be carefully planned. Even if the level of debt remains unchanged, account closures elevate the percentage of debt against the total credit limit, which could have an unfavorable outcome on a credit score. To illustrate the principle involved, let’s look at a hypothetical case.

For simplicity we’ll assume: (i) Mr. Applicant has annual income sufficient for his housing and overall expenses; (ii) his credit card debts total $16,000; (iii) he has two credit cards, each with a credit limit of $15,000; and (iv) he has two more credit cards, each with a credit limit of $10,000. Accordingly, his overall credit limit is $50,000 ($15,000 x 2 = $30,000;  $10,000 x 2 = $20,000;  $30,000 + $20,000 = $50,000). Under this scenario he would be using 32% of his credit lines ($16,000 of debt  / $50,000 overall credit limit  = 32%).

If Mr. Applicant consolidates his credit card debt into the two $15,000 limit credit card accounts, then closes the two $10,000 limit accounts, he would reduce his overall $50,000 credit limit down to $30,000. With this credit limit reduction Mr. Applicant’s use of his credit lines suddenly vaults to 53% ($16,000 of debt / $30,000 overall credit limit = 53%).

Since a credit score is inclined to prefer a low debt percentage (which is often a benchmark less than one-third of the credit limit), if the percentage jumps above the benchmark it may lower a credit score and capture the attention of the landlord, which could strain a rental application review. So if you’re seeking to proactively improve your credit score for a rental or purchase application, or any other reason, you should first talk with and get the advice of your financial advisor or accountant before taking action.

To go to the Inhouse Corporation website click here or contact us at inhouseco@aol.com

Disclaimer: The purposes of this blog are to promote discussion of the presented topic as well as generate general awareness of services that Inhouse Corporation offers. At no time should the reader rely upon or act upon any advice, suggestion, speculation, comment and/or fact that may be stated or implied in this blog without the consent, guidance, oversight and performance of a professional qualified in the subject matter. If you have a question or want assistance with a matter featured in this blog, please contact us at InhouseCo@aol.com (include the blog article title on the subject line). Links, references and credits in this blog are for the informational convenience of the reader only and are not endorsements by the author or Inhouse Corporation.

Mold: A Real Headache

January 12, 2014

2014-01-10 - black mold
Black mold on interior wooden baseboard (http://www.mold-removal-remediation-testing-inspections-ma.com/mold-pictures-photos.htm ).   See Disclaimer below.                                                              

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WHETHER YOU SEEK a home or an investment property you need to be alert to the potential presence of mold in a structure, especially older buildings. It’s much better to conduct due diligence that rules out or identifies the presence of mold before you buy a property so you may want to consider having an expert examine the building. Why? Primarily because of the symptomatic health issues mold can create, many of which may be incorrectly blamed on other ailments.

Secondarily, there’s the question of liability. While different jurisdictions may view the matter from various perspectives, in general landlords might be held accountable under an implied or expressed warranty of habitability for the space they rent (insurance policies should be reviewed to learn if mold related loss is covered). Since mold needs a damp environment to grow, should a landlord fail to repair a water leak or rectify other improper moisture sources and mold results, he/ she may become liable. Ignoring problems like a leaky window, dripping pipe connection or excessive condensation could lead to serious consequences.

Unlike the photo above, the existence of mold may not be obvious. It can grow on the underside of walls and floor boards. But being out-of-sight doesn’t mean it is harmless as the effects of mold are basically caused by airborne spores. So even if it is hidden, occupants may still suffer.

Among other things, some of the symptoms associated with mold can be sneezing, headaches, nose bleeds, diarrhea, swollen glands, loss of energy, disorientation, concentration/ memory problems, shortness of breath, weight loss as well as sinus infections and bronchitis. Some folks may suffer more dire experiences.

Be sure to visit http://moldgeek.com/black-mold-symptoms/#sthash.F4XPgvwX.dpuf for additional details. If occupants are complaining of ailments mentioned in that website, it may be a good idea to have a search conducted for mold. But think twice if you decide to locate and remove it yourself as special precautionary preparations are necessary. Moreover, some mold species can be toxic (black mold, for instance). Having a qualified professional remove the mold is likely to be the better removal solution.

To go to the Inhouse Corporation website click here or contact us at inhouseco@aol.com

Disclaimer: This blog is intended to promote discussion and general interest in the presented topic. At no time should the reader rely upon or act upon any advice, suggestion, speculation, comment and/or fact that may be stated in or implied in this blog without the consent, guidance, oversight and performance of a professional qualified in the subject matter. Links, references and credits in this blog are for informational purposes only and are not endorsements by the author or Inhouse Corporation.