Money Managers - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2097703

Money Managers

A few years ago, I wrote to the editor of The Southampton Press regarding co-op maintenance increases. After selling my co-op, I’ve been out browsing. I asked one unit’s broker — totally lovely, in the business a long time — if the maintenance increases were allocated equitably over the years. Did shareholders with, say, 5 percent of the co-op’s shares pay 5 percent of the increases? Or did a flat increase, say, of 7 percent mean that those with 5 percent of the shares get a 2 percent advantage?

The broker’s answer? “You’re way ahead of me.”

Propitiously, I heard news toward that end from a reliable source: the co-op I sold is raising its maintenance, the 10th maintenance increase since its inception.

I never knew where to find the plan’s maintenance increases until I stumbled into them after I’d sold (during COVID). My next-door neighbor’s apartment carries 3 percent of the shares, the co-op’s fewest. Given that the first nine increases were flat at 5 percent, the unit was behind 2 percent after all nine increases, to total 18 percent. The increase takes my neighbor’s maintenance down to 76 cents on $1 vs. those with more shares.

Before I sold, I asked my neighbor why they didn’t buy in 2003, when I closed. At that time, they had an older sister. Her answer? “Life has passed me by.”

But not to the point that she couldn’t boost the maintenance. You have to find out who is on the board, how long, everything! They are money managers.

Billy Sternberg