When you purchase a home, sometimes you will have obligations set forth by the local Home Owners Association (HOA). At times it also includes a small fee in order to keep surrounding common areas up to par. You will need to educate yourself about the HOA before or after you purchase your home.
The fees associated with the HOA are typically between 200-400 dollars. It is paid monthly. Typically, the more upscale the residence is, the higher the fees will be for that specific property.
One thing you will need to know about the fees is that it is subject to change. At times the HOA may not have enough money saved up for the new addition to a common area and the fees may be adjusted.
Learn the Rules
You may be lucky enough to find the rules for those specific HOA’s rules online. If you cannot find the rules, then you are able to contact the real estate agent to ask for these documents.
Make sure to pay very close attention to any information regarding fines or dues. There should also be information listed about meetings.
Make sure that the home you would like to buy is in compliant with the document before you purchase it. You may be stuck with upgrades, fixes, or other aspect that will cost more money to fix.
If you purchase the home and it is not up to code, then you may be subject to fees as well. Ensure this is spoken about with the real estate agent before purchasing the home.
Questions to Ask
Here are some specific questions you may want to ask:
- How are the fee increases set?
- How often do the increases occur?
- How much has the fees increased over the last 10 years?
- How large is the reserve fund?
- Is there a record of assessments that you can view?
- What do the monthly fees cover?
To make sure that you are not getting the “raw end of the deal,” compare the fees listed on the homes you are interested in. Then compare the information that you have collected thus far. It will help you to make the decision on whether this is the home you would like to have in association with the HOA.