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Old 14.10.2020, 11:30
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Re: Nebenkosten incl. erneuerungsfond too high

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BUT again, if the voting is true, what could make them really accept such high monthly payments when the reserves are more than 1million chf?
The answers to that question lie in
  • the accounting of the building owners or management committe or agency of the past 10 years
  • the minutes of the owners' meetings of the past 5 years (which should include their discussions of their future plans for the building).

If the owners, who vote, after all, are generally in agreement that the roof will need to be re-done in about 10 years' time, the facade of the building insulated and repainted in about 5 years' time, and the heating system will have to be replaced next year, then they will be budgeting, saving and spending the reserves according to the anticipated (on paper) costs of each projects, and others.

In the accounting, you can look back to see how well, or how poorly, their reserves did, indeed, cover the work that was necessary, or how often they needed to call for extra contributions for an emergency project.

In the minutes, you can learn whether they are working together cooperatively, or squabbling like a dysfunctional family.
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Old 14.10.2020, 11:31
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Re: Nebenkosten incl. erneuerungsfond too high

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I agree on this one with you. I asked the agent who decides what is going to be those monthly payments and she mentioned that Verwaltung is suggesting it to the residents of the builing and then there is a voting conducted by the residents in regards to accept the proposal or not.

BUT again, if the voting is true, what could make them really accept such high monthly payments when the reserves are more than 1million chf? It was mentioned that this is not high really, sorry, but I have seen other buildings with 60-100k reserves so I am not sure what is a realistic reserve amount to keep on the side.
Agree, most buildings have smaller reserves. Then when you need to change the windows, the reserve pays 25% of the 20K and you pay the rest 75% upfront. So it come to the same costs in the long term.
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Old 14.10.2020, 12:07
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Re: Nebenkosten incl. erneuerungsfond too high

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It is not necesarrily cheaper to buy vs renting, depends on the individual apartment and on the building.
It is cheaper if the apartment is a newer one.
It is not cheap if it is 30-40 years old.

The Swiss like to keep their buildings in a good shape. So if after 40 years the roof needs to be done, it will be done. You need to pay your part.
I own a share of a nearly 50 year old building. I’m well aware of what that entails. I read the meeting minutes from the AGMs prior to purchase and have participated in numerous AGMs and EGMs in the last 3 years. Owning the top apartment in the block, I actually forced to have the roof replaced as it was shown to be leaking. The sinking fund paid for this.

With regards maintenance, one of our co-owners acts as auditor to make sure that the bills are reasonable. For any major works a competitive tender is done.

At the last AGM bar one there was a vote to replace the management company, for reasons I can’t quite understand. It was voted down.

That’s not to say we aren’t without issues. There are long standing discussions about whether to install a lift, which requires unanimous approval. Some people don’t want one, some want a cheap one, some want an expensive one. While this is playing out, maintenance that needs doing is kicked into the long grass, as it would be on areas that would be ripped up to install the lift. There is also discussion on whether the sinking fund contributions are enough. We’ve recently increased from 2.5k to 4k per year per apartment.

The cost of the mortgage interest, Nebenkosten and our internal maintenance costs will certainly be lower than renting a similar property for the time we live there (12-15 years). Whether it turns out to be a good investment when we come to sell and vs the opportunity cost of investing the deposit and repayments into securities is a question that will only be answerable on crystallisation, but there are more than financial considerations when owning a property.
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