Tips for Colony High-rise Buyers
Waterfront Location. Bonita Springs and Estero high-rises are all located in gated, waterfront communities are, therefore, only in only a few locations so you can take time to check them all out. My website is a good place to start.
Views of Bay, Gulf & Golf. The most striking aspect of high-rise living is generally what you see looking out your window or relaxing on your lanai. Here many factors enter in. Although higher floors and big water views are usually preferred, some homeowners like a treetop and golf course view. Sunsets or sunsets AND sunrises? The view(s) from each residence influences the price you will pay, so your preferences on views need to be carefully balanced with cost. It also might be prudent to find out whether another building might eventually affect your views.
Lobby staff. Of course, high-rises have lots of back-of-the-house staff like a (live-in)manager, an administrator or assitant to manager, maintenance, and security personnel. And they’re important. How many hours is the front desk staffed? By the way, some buildings refer to the individual who sits behind the front desk as a “concierge” because they provide some, very limited concierge-style services….such as dry cleaning collection & delivery, calling an airport shuttle, arranging to get staff and service personnel into your residence in your absence.
Personnel costs, including lobby staff, are the largest controllable component of HOA dues, ranging from approximately $10,000-21,000 annually. So you’re paying for it. The Colony offers every concept from uniformed officer on site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to a locked front lobby door with a key pay entry and no officer.
Pets. If you have a pet, you will need to check the pet policy. Our Colony high rises all have policies in place and some with limitations on number and size. Please contact me if you are interested in learning the particulars to each building.
Guest Suites. Great option for visiting family and friends which are available for a daily fee $50-$125. Though the Hyatt Coconut Resort is immediately off The Colony site, the suites are very convenient and more affordable.
Fitness centers. All Colony high-rises have impressive fitness centers, and, truly, most describe their own as ”state-of-the art.” I’m no judge of fitness centers, so you’ll have to evaluate them yourself.
Resort-style Pools. The pool generally anchors the outdoor amenities such as sun deck, grilling area, hot tub, outdoor dining areas, etc. and is generally near the fitness center and social room(s).
Garage Parking. Your ownership of a high-rise condo in The Colony will come with rights to 1-2 garage parking places, which are usually assigned along with an air-controlled storage space.
Other common areas. High-rises now have caterer-friendly party rooms with wet bars, libraries, billiard rooms, business centers with Wi-Fi, and theaters. There seems to be no end to the features you might find. I’ve tried to list all of the special common areas in the various high-rises I work, but am sure to have missed some.
HOA Dues. What’s in and what’s out? High-rises are run by the board of a homeowners’ association in which each homeowner has voting power. It’s the board, with the approval of the homeowners, who collect dues from homeowners to pay for building insurance, pest control, common area utilities and maintenance, employee compensation, fees to management hired by the HOA, etc.
HOA Reserves. When HOA dues are insufficient to pay for things such as a major building renovation, to replace expensive equipment, etc., HOAs can make a special reserve to cover the costs. Although the building must inform a buyer of outstanding assessments it would be prudent to look at the building’s annual operating budget including reserve.
Other fees: All Colony HOA’s have some form of application fee to the buyer when a residence in the building is transferred, usually a background/credit check fee ranging from $100-$250. The only utility paid independently is the electric bill made payable directly to FPL.com. Most residents have content (also known as ‘renters’)insurance. Policies are typically quoted under $1000 a year.
Security. Since its own residents often oversee the management in the building, you should expect every high-rise to have good security measures like access controls and monitored video cameras.