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honestly, no one here can possibly give you a meaningful answer without much more detailed information about your specific situation.

Do slips appreciate? who knows? how is your crystal ball? I own my slip in one of 3 condo marinas in Va. It's up since I bought it 6 yrs. ago but flat/slightly down the past 2: it's real estate, and w/ limited/specific appeal at that. It's still cheaper -- for me -- than renting a slip.

But I also spent hundreds of hours as a Board member working to rebuild after damage from Hurricane Isabelle in 2003.

Is the idea too new to effectively evaluate? Not necessarily. If you're talking about a condo marina you have to do the same due diligence & analysis as in any condo real est. purchase, only with more/unique analysis because it's a marina/slip (IMO). It may be too new if there is no track record of marina/slip sales where you are. Where I am (Potomac R.) there are few if any new marinas coming in so that was part of the calculus.

Are we totally dependent on the marina managers keeping the value up? "totally"? maybe not, but to a great degree... but if it's a condo, then the condo owners have to hire the mgr. and run the condo assn. (contrary to myth/wish, condos do not run themselves) so they are ultimately responsible and if you can't find a good mgr that's an issue.

Do the "condo" associations maintain control in maintenance and preserving the value? They do if it's a condo, subject to state law and requirements for assessing & collecting reserves, conducting reserve studies, etc. Many condo assns. do not adequately plan for and collect reserves, which leads to nasty & unexpected painful special assessments when there's a shortfall.

Recourse for a failing operation/community? Etc,etc... Depends... recourse against whom? For what? remember the condo owners own the condo, if they mismanage it they don't have recourse against themselves absent fraud, violation of fiduciary duty, etc.
 

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We came very close to doing this many years ago. We ended up not doing it because to us it ended up taking away some of our mobilr flexibility and the point of a sailboat and cruising in the first place. However, looking back, I am not convinved it wwas a good or a bad idea.

The slips have at least doubled in value since then. However, when you add in the fees and stuff associated with the ownership, that is not as much as it seems. I had heard that in S Texas they were selling the slips for about $25,000. That seems like a steal to me. The one we were looking at in Florida was $150,000! That is cheap in Florida standards. It is all supply-demand though. We ended up buying a house on the water where we could put the boat behind as it seemed to be a better investment than throwing 600-700/month away in slip rental or $150,000 for four poles sticking up out of the water. That was probably a wise choice. We ended up selling before the market crashed and thank goodness we did. You could buy that house today for at least $100,000 less than what I paid for it originally... and I sold it for a HUGE profit.

So beware of things like this that valuate and devaluate quickly. If your intention is long term, without the need or desire to make money off of it or sell it, then it may be a better investment then renting a slip. But if things may not be long term for you, reconsider as that market can be fickle with fluctuations.

- CD
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks again all. What excited me are some 35' to 50' slips (in an unnamed creek/marina) in NC. Excellent transient reviews. No YC. Not a lot of ammenities. These are less than 1/4 the price of slips just 1/2 an hour drive closer to the big city. I mean like $15K - $20K. A 10 year mortgage on that is less than a rental. Plus taxes and assoc fees of course, which are way low too. I know, like everything else in real estate - location, location, and nowadays - timing. I'm still thinking these are a steal. This is why I'm looking for info regarding the "bad side" of dockaminiums.
 

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it's still not clear to me what you'd be buying, though ... a condo dock unit (real estate?)... or just membership in some kind of a HO Assn. (not nec. real estate).

And what would the dues cover? Low fees are a common lure when HO Assns. fail to adequately plan, then when you need to dredge or rebuild, you can be caught short. In one case I know of failure to adequately budget annual assessments for many years led to a capital shortfall of over $300k that the unit owners had to make up in just 2-3 yrs. via special assessments when docks reached the end of their useful life and dredging was needed.

The devil, of course, is in the details in the long run. So the bad side, like many condos, is not planning adequately, etc. With a competent reserve study, you will have funds on hand to pay for dock replacement, and then be funding the next dock replacement cycle from annual dues over 20 yrs. so no special assessments will be needed at that time (and all other maint. & capital replacement costs are also built into that study/the budgeting plan).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
it's still not clear to me what you'd be buying, though ... a condo dock unit (real estate?)... or just membership in some kind of a HO Assn. (not nec. real estate).
A dockominium I guess is what they're called. Pilings in water with earth 8' below. A slip. Nothing else other than community ownership of dock walkways, electric, plumbing, etc. Not clear yet as to who owns the clubhouse and other land or "common areas".
 

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A dockominium I guess is what they're called. Pilings in water with earth 8' below. A slip. Nothing else other than community ownership of dock walkways, electric, plumbing, etc. Not clear yet as to who owns the clubhouse and other land or "common areas".
that's critical ... if it's a condo -- it sounds like it is -- then you all should own an undivided % of all common areas (read carefully how they're defined, as well as limited common areas, responsibility of condo assn. & managing agent or developer, etc. -- for ex., we own an undivided interest in the docks, land, clubhouse, etc.) and that (common areas) is what you'll also have to pay to maintain...

it sounds like a condo to me and I'd suggest having a NC real estate lawyer review contracts, condo documents and recent board minutes, at least a couple of yrs. of condo financial statements, etc., before you sign anything. You want to know what is & isn't part of the condo and who is responsible for what.

I'm not sure what NC's Condominium Act requires in the way of disclosure to a buyer, but it's all a lot easier to sort out if you get legal advice before (not after) you sign. Good luck.

Jon
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks again to all. Apparently there aren't many horror stories about dockominiums, so this thread can go away if it wishes.

fendertweed - (i had one of those too) It appears you are from where I grew up - condominiumland. In 1965, my family brought the population of Reston up to 100. Raleigh is next for me. Best wishes.
 
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