Take Care–Part one of a series

na-cc526_amish__gr_20140827215911I was reluctant to move into River Oaks Trace because, as a firm believer in property rights, I found the policies and concept to be overly restrictive.  After some thought, however, it was clear that I was not irrevocably giving up my ideals; I retained the choice to sell my home at market value just as I would anywhere else.  What attracted me about the Trace was the prospect of having a beautiful, orderly neighborhood of friendly folk, some of whom I already knew.  Given the privilege later of serving on the Board allowed me the opportunity to help maintain the beauty and organization of our precinct.

Per the governing documents–Master Deed, By-Laws, and Covenants–the Association, the collective of members who own condominiums within the Trace, is responsible for providing certain services to those members. These services include insurance, lawn care, and the repair and maintenance of the condominiums.  These services are applied to what are termed the “Common Elements”.  In short, this means that the Association provides these services to everything in  the Trace except the interior living space of the condominium.  The interior living space, that area within the innermost walls of a condominium, is both the domain and responsibility of the homeowner; everything outside the innermost walls is the responsibility of the Association.

The above concept of the division of responsibilities has led some to view the Association as a sort of guardian or concierge, vigilant to respond to every need or desire of the homeowner.  The Association, through the Board of Directors, attempts to fulfill the requirements of the governing documents; but, human fallibility and legal constraints will always interfere to prevent them from satisfying homeowners 100% of the time.  The homeowner must ask of himself “Who is the primary caretaker of my home?”  One only has to answer the subordinate questions, “Who lives in my home?”, “Who pays the mortgage on my home?”, and “Who has most to lose upon the deterioration of my home?”, to answer the original question; the primary caretaker of the home is….the homeowner.