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No. of Recommendations: 8
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As aj said, ask about reserves, and ask where they are kept, who has control, what procedures are necessary to withdraw funds, etc.

Two sad stories:

1) At my mother's condo association, the guy who had been in charge of the reserves has cancer, and gave up the position while going through chemotherapy. The guy who took it on withdrew it all and went to Mohegan Sun, which is a gambling place in Connecticut. None of it came back.

2) In a case I read about, (in a legal column asking for advice) the woman in charge of the reserves had what she thought was a great idea. When the lottery had one of those umpteen tens of millions on the line moments, she withdrew all the funds to buy lottery tickets, because she thought she was bound to win a big prize and she could restore the funds and add all those extra millions to it so no one would have to pay condo fees any more.

She didn't win.

So make sure you ask about that. There should be double signatures required for withdrawal of funds over a certain amount. Mom wasn't thrilled about an extra assessment (on top of various other special assessments), but at least she could afford it, which is more than some of her neighbors could.

You already seem to know that you need permission to make outside changes. Did you also check about pets? Some places put a limit on pets, or restrict dogs to under a certain size, or prohibit certain breeds.

Do you have a copy of the rules to read before you sign?

Sounds very exciting!

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