If they can’t pay, Louis Park Estates Condo Association owners could lose their homes to foreclosure
by By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
Another week, another report of condo owners facing thousands of dollars in urgently needed repairs.
Louis Park Condominiums in Stockton, California, is a 200-home common interest community of modestly-priced units constructed in the 1970s, most with a garage. Current list price range is $94,000 – $150,000.
Louis Park neighborhood statistics indicate lower than average household incomes, and larger than average household sizes. With median household incomes of $27,000, and monthly condo fees of $240, it can be hard for families to make ends meet.
The neighborhood also reports higher than average crime rates. In 2017, local news reported a shooting during an armed robbery in the neighborhood. More recently, reports of a random shooting in Louis Park also prompted a call to Code Enforcement. A city inspector then cited the condo association for dozens of code violations, included unsafe balconies with rotting wood support beams.
Take a look at the condition of the balconies in the CBS13 video linked below.
Violence Begets Violations: Shooting Fallout Leaves Stockton Homeowners With Hefty Bill
By Jennifer McGrawAugust 23, 2018 at 11:26 pm
STOCKTON (CBS13) — Hundreds of residents may lose their homes if they don’t come up with thousands of dollars and quick, and it all started with a shooting.
The homeowners association says the issues came to light after a shooting down the street. Code enforcement was called out and five days ago, residents at the more than 200 condominiums here at Louis Park Estates, all received the same letter.
Now it all boils down to repairs and the high cost to fix them.
“We sacrificed to do this and now I got a find a way to keep a roof over my families head,” said Scott Valesky who lives with his girlfriend and their two children.
Balconies need to be reinforced.
“Here’s some of the dry rot that they found right here,” he said, pointing to one of more than 30 balconies needing repairs.
Those repairs mean a hefty $2,600 bill that homeowners have less than two months to pay.
Read more (video):
All in all, according the property manager Sarah Van Daele, the City is requiring the condo association to make immediate repairs totaling more than a half million dollars.
That led to a $2,600 special assessment notice, with a due date of October 10th. Condo owners have the option of paying three $950 installments, but that would add $250 in interest over three months. OUCH!
The report includes no details about the name of the contractor(s) who will do the repair work in the community.
Louis Park Estates is a no-frills townhouse community, without recreational amenities. The $240 monthly assessment is supposed to cover the cost of exterior maintenance, insurance, and trash removal. That’s it.
Assuming that the condo association collects regular assessments for owners, the association takes in more than $570,000 annually.
Yet the condo association doesn’t have the money to keep the property up to City of Stockton safety code standards? And there’s not enough money to shore up 30 balconies?
Louis Park Estates is co-owned by Katzakian Property Management. According to the company’s website, the real estate broker and property management firm has been in business since 1978. Katzakian is a member of Community Associations Institute, where staff obtains continuing education and training.
The Van Daele family is a well-known home builder in California.
With Van Daele and Katzakian’s extensive experience in the real estate construction and management business, how is it possible that Louis Park Estates infrastructure is literally rotting before their very eyes? Clearly, this is not the sort of damage that occurs over night.
Naturally, condo owners are fearful that, if they cannot scrape together $2,600 in less than a few months, they will lose their homes. Condo management has already informed homeowners that non-payment will result in a property lien that can be collected through foreclosure, in accordance with California Law.
Some condo owners are likely to fall into this foreclosure trap. The obvious question is, who will be bidding at foreclosure auctions for Louis Park Estates condos?