I've been taking cold showers this week.
Our condo association has been working on the hot water pipes and the supply of hot water has, to say the least, sucked.
But I'm not mad, not even particularly frustrated, just a little . . . cold, even in the Texas heat.
I'm not mad because I knew about the planned work before moving in.
And even though I knew we would be facing some interruptions in the water supply, and that it was going to cost a bundle for the condo association to address the problems, I still wasn't concerned.
Here is why: the association was up-front with the information. They held meetings, took votes, sent out newsletters, put flyers in residents' doors, sent email and followed up with even more information.
They said what needed to be done, why it needed to be done, the anticipated impact of doing it, the timeframe for doing it, the cost of doing it . . . and so on. Then they did some of it, and solicited feedback, and reviewed the feedback, and modified the plans, and shared the updated information.
They also explained why a special assessment was necessary to pay for the work, and how the funds would be used.
Contrast this to another condo near by that hasn't been so forth coming about the water supply problems they've had over the last year or so.
That condo association was spending a lot of money to fix breaks in the supply lines, and the residents were experiencing unplanned, unscheduled outages. I visted that complex several times while shopping for a new condo and the big open trench filled with water along with the voiced frustrations of several residents and tenants were enough to give me pause.
I don't know what happened, or is happening, with that condo develoment, but I DO know what is happening with mine.
And that means the cold showers don't bother me.
I know the lines are being worked on. I know maintenance personnel will help me get my fixtures cleared out of the resulting debris so that the hot water will flow smoothly again in a few days. I can be patient while they address more urgent requests from other residents who have smaller kids, or are elderly, or have health problems that mean that the cold water is a bigger problem for them than it is for me.
If you are shopping for a condo in Austin, take the time to find out how the condo association handles problems such as this and if you can't get the information you need to make an informed decision, you might want to keep shopping.