Wednesday whinges … again …

Whinge One:
I couldn’t go to my Cherryhills knitting group today because of the AGM of our complex – not that I HAD to be there , but I like to know what’s going on.

Whinge Two:
One of the reasons we moved from our old home was to get away from the maintenance that plagues 40 something old houses. Did we succeed? What do you think? We have had a plague of minor irritations, mostly because the developer and/or builder have been slow to act to rectify them, or have washed their hands of them – “that always happens” (pooling inches deep in the courtyard due to slope of tiles away from the drain); “well, what do you expect – it was a building site” ( scratches on glass doors); “you just have to be careful how you close them” (sliding doors that jump off the tracks if closed at more than one inch per 10 seconds) etc etc. Most of the other units in the development have similar stories. Some issues have been resolved and some haven’t. And this is a reputable developer and builder who, in general, have produced a high quality building.

The latest problem is possums in some of the units roof spaces. We had well over 30 years in our previous home, which was not built well, before the possums finally found an entry point. Our unit has had no possum problem – yet – but three other units have. The owners’ corporation has been told by the builder that it is impossible to build a house that is pest proof and the units with possum problems are not his responsibility. An independent possum remover/proofer says there are 29 identifiable possum entry points in the 11 units! which he’ll fix for around $900. Not a bad price – but should we have to pay it? Who knows. Our only resort is lodge a complaint with the Fair Trading Tribunal which we are loathe to do – mainly because of the emotional energy required. So we are going ahead to have the holes closed – no doubt the possums will then flip the tiles up!

(Not really a) Whinge Three:
I say “not really” a whinge, because the sheer audacity of this marketing strategy fascinates me.

Another email from ….. Reader’s Digest – how ever did you guess! This time I’m so lucky to have been selected when most of my neighbours may never be selected – funny, that – I’ve been selected 3 years in a row – I must be SUPER lucky.

Subject: You Could Proceed to the Third and Final Winners Selection Stage

Body of email: “NOTICE OF SELECTION; IMPORTANT NOTICE PLEASE READ.

POTENTIAL FINALIST TO WIN UP TO $500,000 IN THE THIRD AND FINAL STAGE OF THE 99TH SWEEPSTAKES.

You are at the make or break stage in our 99th Sweepstakes. Six prize draw entry numbers have been issued in your name – any one of them could make you $500,000 richer. You are the only person in the whole of Australia who can activate these numbers and rush them into the final stage where the winner will be selected.

While most of your neighbours may never be selected, you have been fortunate enough to clear the first two stages – selection of your name and issuing of prize draw numbers. You must activate your entries for registration promptly to proceed to the third and final winners selection stage.

It’s all up to you! Click here now to register your prize draw numbers.”

What a load of garbage. It’s interesting that quite a number of hits on this site are referred from google searches to do with prize winners, “scams”, etc etc related to Reader’s Digest!

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2 responses to “Wednesday whinges … again …

  1. The funny thing (well not so funny really) was that I was having a conversation with my boyfriend about strata and body corporates. We’ve been looking to buy a house and its been terrible… and in a moment of sheer desperation, I asked if perhaps we should consider a brand new unit in Rhodes or Meadowbank. But the problem I have with a new unit (probably not so much with an older one) is the amount of power the developer still has over the body corporate once the units have been sold.

  2. Developer power can be a big problem – there’s a column called “Flat Chat” in the Saturday Herald in the Real Estate Section – I think the author is Jimmy Thomson – it’s well worth reading. He’s also written a book about strata living. I think the main problem is in big complexes – when we moved in here, the contract gave the developer control of the owner’s corporation until all the units were sold. We assumed that was so the rest of us didn’t go ahead and rip out his landscaping, or decide to paint everything purple and make his ability to sell the remaining units very hard. The problems we have now are relatively minor, but frustrating and to do with “after sales service” and differing expectations!

    There are only 11 townhouses and villas in this complex, and that has worked out well. I wouldn’t like to live anywhere much larger. It can be hard enough to get 11 owners and partners to decide on a replacement tree when everyone has good will .

    The other thing that seems to be important, is whether the majority of people are owner occupiers. There are lots of reports of absentee landlords/ladies who won’t pay the strata fees, block efforts to maintain the place etc so that your own investment decreases in value – and the stress of living somewhere like that is enormous.

    I looked at your blog and saw your comment about buying two units – not such a bad idea! My neighbours where I lived before are deeply committed to each other, but just can’t live together! She’s tidy, he’s not; she hates footie, he loves to watch it with a beer; etc etc. They resolved the problem by living in two separate houses, spending a few days each week at each other’s place, but with their own bolthole where they can go when they need a break or want to chill out. I’ve been married for over 45 years and it sounds like a great idea to me! It works very well for them 🙂

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