The Plantations

The Plantations


The Plantations is comprised of 200 condominiums and 32 single family homes, situated on 45 acres. There are 25 condominium buildings, each containing 8 units. There are 2 bedroom units, 2 bedrooms with a garage, 3 bedrooms and 3 bedrooms with a garage. A few units also have elevators.


The community has two corporate entities that address the maintenance and administrative needs of the community. Each Association is served by 5 Board (Owners), or Council members (Condo), and they meet on a regularly scheduled basis, where the owners are always invited to attend and are given an opportunity to speak.


To control costs, the community maintains eight agricultural wells serving over 5,000 sprinkler heads. This represents a significant savings over paying the local water utility for the thousands of gallons of water necessary to irrigate the grounds. The Association also has its own tractor and dump truck, in order to assist in landscaping and snow plowing endeavors. There is also a golf cart that enables various members of the Association and contractors easy access to perform work and inspections in close proximity to the buildings.


The Plantations Owner’s Association consists of the 200 condominium units and the 32 single family homes. The purpose of this organization is to perform the accounting functions, including billing and collection of the homeowners fees ($146 @ quarter), provide for maintenance of the main roads running throughout the community, provide for grass cutting and landscaping at the entrance and circle, share in the costs associated with the street lighting, irrigation and liability insurance, gatehouse and security camera maintenance, as well as energy expenses for well pumps, gatehouse, ponds and flag lighting. This Association also contributes a minor amount toward the seasonal on site maintenance person’s wage and vehicle fuels.


In 2002 the Owner fees were $ 175 @ quarter but were reduced to $ 135 in 2003, when the on site security guards were replaced by surveillance cameras. In January 2009 the fees were increased by $ 11 @ quarter, bringing them to the current amount of $ 146.


The Plantations Condominium Association consists of the 200 condominium units. The purpose of this organization is to perform the accounting functions, including billing and collection of the condominium fees, ranging from $334 - $ 480 @ quarter (depending on size). This Association provides for building maintenance, building insurance, maintenance of the condominium parking lots, provides for grass cutting and landscaping of the “common areas”, building lighting, insurance, it also shares in the costs associated with the street lighting, irrigation and liability insurance and energy expense for the well pumps. This Association contributes the lions share of the (seasonal) on site maintenance person’s wage and vehicle fuels.


The buildings were constructed between 1987 and 2000.

We have established a maintenance chart which tracks all repairs throughout the community, on a regular basis. This chart enables us the ability to prioritize any major replacements / renovations that may be needed, within the community.


Over the past two years we have replaced 3 roofs, painted 8 of the condominium buildings, replaced or repaired sidewalks at 7 condominium buildings, rebuilt steps at 5 buildings, painted all courtyard walls, completed replacement of faulty cement board on 2 buildings and reconditioned 5 crawlspaces, all without a special assessment, or an increase in condo fees.


SeaScape Property Mgmt., Inc. is the current property management company and I, Barry Nichols am the lead property manager at The Plantations. We have managed The Plantations for the past seven (7) years. Each year our goal is to shop for the “best cost” providers in an effort to keep the quarterly fees as low as possible, additionally, off set the fees the owners pay to have us manage the property. Our latest contract was renewed in January of this year, for a three year term. 


Accounting is done using Quick books, on line, which is Sarbanes Oxley compliant and enables us to access your financial records from any location provisioned with internet access. Owners are always welcome to review the books of the Association. An Annual review has been performed by an outside CPA each year for the past three years, as has various audits by the insurance carrier supplying Workers Comp to the Association. All have been completed without any discrepancies.


We are very active in pursuing any delinquent account and historically run an average of 1-3% delinquencies. Any account going delinquent more than 90 days is turned over to the attorney for collection.


As for increases in fees… as stated earlier, The Board and Council makes every attempt to maintain the fee structure, at its present level. Given the rising costs, and with no significant increases in the past 7 years, admittedly this is becoming more and more difficult. Additionally, new legislation was recently passed in the State of Delaware this year that carries very specific guidelines affecting monies that must be kept in reserve, for the future needs of the community.


This legislation also mandates a reserve study be completed that will identify all capital items, their life and anticipated replacement costs. Until this study is complete it is impossible to determine whether the fee structure will be altered.


Right now, financially things appear to be on sound footing, however, at this time, I do anticipate at least a minor increase in fees.


Please keep in mind, this new legislation is Statewide and impacts every condominium association in Delaware.



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