From the Forum – Condo Reserve Study Recs?

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“Does anyone have a recommendation for a company used to do a condo reserve study? We are in a small 10-15 unit building and haven’t had one done in several years. We have gotten two quotes so far, one is in the $2k range and one is almost $5k, this is a big difference and we want to be sure we are evaluating the merits of the various companies vs. just choosing the cheapest option. Any tips in what to look for or what is important to be included? Thanks in advance!”

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11 Comment

  • OP Do you have a condo manager? For such a small building I would think your condo manager would have some experience with coming up estimate for what you need to put in reserve. When I lived in the condo our manager broke out what we need to put in reserves for a numerous issues like replacing the roof after 15 years and other items.

  • You can take a look at the original study which company did it. In many cases, those companies will do an update to the original reserve study for much less than initiating a new one altogether. I work for a building management company and for an association your size, a new study would generally be $2k for a thorough and reputable company. An update would be less than $1,000. Good luck!

  • I’m on the Board of a 21 unit condo that just went through this drill. Best advise is to ask for recommendations and then make the phone calls. In our case, the company did a half-a**ed job and we had to go back to them to get corrections on incorrect line items. As a result, we went from having a significant unfunded liability to being in very good shape.

  • I’ve heard good things about Reserve Advisors in Arlington.

  • Thanks for the helpful responses! Can you share the names of the companies you contacted? Or others, any recommended companies for this?

  • My 17 unit condo assn used William Grimes at Property Diagnostics of Crofton, MD. Grimes is an engineer and a member of the Association of Professional Reserve Analysis. Reserve studies are not jobs for noobs or amateurs. My building is FHA approved which is not that easy for condo associations to qualify for. A thorough reserve study helps.

  • We really like working with Property Diagnostics

  • Association Reserves is fabulous and has offices all across the country. My parents used them for their condo and they do great work and deliver on time too. Their website is http://www.reservestudy.com/north-carolina. Good luck!

  • You should be able to get something done within the $2k range. We’ve use Victor Hare Engineering- they are more focused on the structural issues relative to the financial management aspects but we’ve been pretty happy (we’re a 69 unit complex).

  • We pay about $7,500 at my condo to update the reserve study every 3-4 years. But we’re a big building (170 units).

  • Our condo used Reserve Advisors, and has used others in the past. Reserve Advisors was good. I appreciated that they were willing to revise the study when they had misunderstood something from the condo (after all, we know the building better than they do) or the report wasn’t clear. I thought that was good.

    My takeaway was that the report gave us a general roadmap for the future. We did it largely to become aware of what the building’s needs are currently and in the future, and to maintain FHA compliance. Many banks won’t loan to someone buying a condo unless the association has done a reserve study.

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