Friday, March 24, 2017

When Age Factors Into HOA Dues

I read an article this morning about the rates that HOA's have been raising their dues. Appears that the North West and quite a bit on the East Coast have jumped significantly.

But, since I read the article, it made me think of something to share.

Santa Clarita, I frequently call it 'The Town of New'. So much newer construction, and people love new, that I nick-named it that many years ago.

So, let's segue into HOA dues and why some are higher than others and what to consider, & look for, when seeking your next home that carries an HOA.

HOA's for single family homes are to cover costs of community amenities, like a pool or clubhouse. But, for attached dwellings, like condos and townhouses, they are covering structures as well.

Just like your car, properties age and require maintenance to keep them in tip-top shape, right?

So, look at an older property, fall in love.....then check the HOA reserve study to make sure the HOA has been stashing enough money to cover big a new roof, or new pool equipment, full re-painting of exterior, or new asphalt for the private roads or driveways included in the HOA. Those can be expensive.

If the HOA is putting enough in reserves, the standard is 10%, then you are probably okay without having a special assessment added when they need to do something costly to maintain the property. If they are prepared.....for a special assessment to hit......and those can be a drag. Or, if the HOA knows a big project is coming up in a few years they may significantly raise their dues to cover that.

Yes, the board has to vote the increase in, but the board also has to protect the well being of the properties.

So, beware of older buildings with low HOA's, beware of HOA's not putting/having enough in reserves. Be knowledgeable in your home search!

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