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Potential Financial Risks of Living in a Condo

Living in a condo can provide a lot of convenience and comfort, which includes not having to worry about cutting the lawn or painting your deck. In addition, there are many condo communities that offer a variety of amenities that include tennis, swimming and golf.

While having all these amenities and conveniences sound great, they do come at a price. In order for condo communities to provide services and amenities to residents, they charge a monthly homeowners association (HOA) fee. This amount can vary greatly from community to community.

There are actually some communities that charge residents over $900 a month in HOA fees. This might sound pretty high to most people (including me), but there are millions of people who are willing to pay this amount each month for convenience. In most cases, communities that charge high fees like this are typically located in high income areas and offer a very wide range of services and amenities. Some examples include on site concierge service, on site dry cleaning store, on site pharmacy, on site hair salon and also an on site resident valet service. In addition, there is most likely an indoor and outdoor pool, a community movie theater, club house, billiard room and a fitness center.

On the other end of the scale you have communities that only charge residents between $200 to $300 per month. These communities generally consist of 8 to 25 buildings with 4 to 8 units in each. In terms of amenities, there is usually only an outdoor pool, a club house and an assigned parking lot. For many people, this type of community fits all their basic wants and needs. This is because they are looking for an affordable place to live, don't want to deal with yard work and want the tax benefits of home ownership.

However, In both of these type of communities there are financial risks. This includes potential “special assessments imposed upon residents to pay for repairs and damages. In the higher priced communities that offer a lot of amenities, special assessment fees are very common. These fees are often needed to repair fitness room equipment, front gates or resident elevators. In the lower priced communities special assessments are commonly needed to pay for increased water fees and insurance premiums. If a community is not able to maintain its insurance coverage or water service, then it will be condemned.

The amount of the special assessment can vary based on individual communities and specific needs. For example, residents may be charged a special assessment of $300 to repair a community club house or the exterior sides of a building. Then you may have a $700 special assessment fee that is needed to pay for broken elevators or a over due water bills.

Living in a condo can be a positive thing, just as long you read the fine print and know all the financial risks involved.




Mid season review of Mad Men

New seasons have started for several popular television shows, and some have fared better than others.

Let's start with the popular AMC series “Mad Men”. So far this season we have seen the life of character “Don Draper” (played by actor Jon Hamm), take a serious downward spiral. Some of the episodes featuring Draper have shown him having flashbacks from his childhood. Based on what we have seen, his childhood was very sad and depressing. His mother supposedly died while giving birth to him, and he eventually ended up living with his father and stepmother. At some point his father either leaves or dies. Afterward he and his stepmother go to live with a couple who run a brothel. While Draper was growing up he saw women sell their bodies for money. This might explain why Draper has so much trouble being faithful and committed to one woman. His childhood experiences may also explain why Draper has a hard time fully respecting and trusting women.

This current season of “Mad Men” is also highlighting how Draper's kids are growing up. During this season viewers will particularly get a chance to see how his daughter “Sally” is coming into her own. The question on many viewer's minds is will Sally take after her father or mother. While many viewers don't particularly like Sally's mother “Betty”, they would probably much rather see her take after her mother rather than Don.

Other new events this season include the character of “Peggy” working for a new agency and gaining more authority. It would be nice to see her getting more “respect”, but respecting women was something that didn't happen very often in the ad industry during the 1960's. Despite this, Peggy seems to be fitting into her new position pretty well. I would think that just not having to deal with all the “alcoholic drama” at her old firm would make her glad that she left her old position.

This current season of Mad Men is also showing a side of Don that viewers hadn't really seen before – “jealousy”. Don doesn't seem to be too happy about his wife's growing acting career. There was a recent episode where his wife was involved in a love scene with another actor, which did not sit too well with Don. He was so upset by this scene that he confronted his wife in her dressing room. I am sure many viewers were surprised by Don's reaction and behavior, because this is a man that has slept with many women and had many affairs. But than again I guess most viewers have accepted the fact that being “unpredictable” is just part of who “Don Draper” is.

I also realize that the character of Don Draper is one of the main reasons why millions of people tune into this show every week.




Recent celebrities news on Kim Kardashian Pregnancy , Gwenyth Paltrow award and Jennifer Aniston wedding

One of the most popular entertainment news items from this past week has been about Kim Kardashian's pregnancy. One article reported that Kim is throwing fits and having temper tantrums while she is in public. I hope she gets it together soon because she needs to be more calm and coherent for her baby. Other articles also reported that the father of the baby, Kanye West, has been sort of “M.I.A” during Kim's pregnancy. Some say he hasn't been photographed with Kim because he doesn't want to cause any unnecessary stress for her or negative publicity. While others say Kanye hasn't been around much because he is unsure if he really wants to start a family with Kim. Well it looks like he is little late in terms of “starting a family”.

There has also been a lot of recent articles about the maternity clothes Kim has been wearing. Most make fun of how she still tries to dress like she isn't pregnant. Kim's fans are hoping that she will change her ways and style before the baby is born. Fans are also curious to see how Kim will adapt to motherhood. It will be interesting to see if she launches a maternity clothing line after the baby is born. This is a money making project that I am sure is on Kris Jenner's (Kim's mom) radar screen.

Other recent entertainment news topics this week have included Gwenyth Paltrow being named People Magazine's most beautiful woman, and the reasons why Jennifer Aniston is delaying her wedding.

As soon as the announcement came about Gwenyth Paltrow, the internet lit up with comments from people voicing their opinion. There were quite a few people who agreed with People Magazine's choice, and there was also many others who totally disagreed. Some mom's voiced their opinions and disagreed with the choice because they felt it sent the wrong message to young women. They view Paltrow as a woman who looks too thin and confused. These mothers are concerned that their daughters may think that this is how a normal woman should act and look. Other negative comments came from ethnic women who felt that the magazine's view of beauty does not represent the majority of women in the world today. They felt that the woman chosen should represent international beauty.

Some of the women that readers felt should have been chosen instead include Sofia Vergara, Natalie Portman, and Kerry Washington. Based on these comments and feedback, it will be interesting to see who People selects for their “most beautiful woman” title next year.

In regards to Jennifer Aniston, there are rumors starting to spring up as to why she is delaying her marriage. Some include her not being totally ready for another marriage, not being in love with her fiance, not being totally over Brad Pitt, and fear of hurting her image. I am not sure if any of these rumors are true, but I do hope that Jennifer finds happiness one day.





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