Joining a Home Owners Association? Know what questions to ask.
Home Owners Association rules (otherwise known as the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions or CC&Rs) typically include rules governing the community. Some HOA's have few restrictions, but others may have strict limitations.
What Buyers Should Ask When Considering an HOA
An HOA or Homeowner Association is a legal entity created to manage and maintain the common areas of a community. These "common areas" may consist of things like pools, clubhouses, landscaping, parks, streets, and roads.
HOAs are typically set up with a set of rules called "Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions" otherwise known as "CC&Rs." One of the primary functions of the HOA is to enforce and ensure that these "CC&Rs" are adhered to by the individual homeowners.
Here is a helpful list of questions to ask if you are buying a house or condo that is governed by an HOA:
- How much are the dues and what is the history of increases?
- Is building insurance included?
- What are the specifics of the insurance and what insurance will you be required to carry (if any)?
- Are there HOA budget reserves for repairs? Also, look at maintenance contracts like landscaping, security, etc.
- Do they look reasonable to you? Is one of the HOA members also one of the contractors?
- If you haven’t already—find out how much the transfer fees and capital reserve requirements are when you close and negotiate to have the seller pay for them (unless you have already agreed otherwise).
- Find out how many units are owner-occupied versus rented out. The HOA will know this. If it’s higher than about 10 percent rentals, you may want to consider that in your purchase decision.
- Check out the HOA's rental policies. The time may come when you may need or want to rent it out.
- Find out the current status of all the membership dues. How many units are in the HOA and of that, how many are past due, and by how much? Try to obtain the minutes from the previous year's HOA meetings. Read them to see what they discuss, which will tell you how picky they are and what type of violations spur actions against residents.
Our team has been prolific Stuart, Florida based Realtors since 2003, listing and selling properties along the Treasure Coast and Palm Beach real estate corridors. We service over 250 communities and subdivisions including club communities, waterfront communities, second-home communities, condos, and townhomes.
Contact Us to schedule a free consultation. Whether buying or selling a home, we are always happy to meet with you to discuss your wants and needs, with no obligation.
Eric Slifkin, a Broker Associate, is the founder of the Slifkin Team at Keller Williams Realty. Eric and his team of experienced agents serve South Florida and the Treasure Coast, including Stuart, Port Saint Lucie, and the Palm Beaches.