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Thread: Anyone have any Condo HOA experience?

  1. #1

    Anyone have any Condo HOA experience?

    I am fairly new to condo ownership (2.5 years) and do not understand how the HOA works. We pay a management company who takes care of most everything. The problem is the HOA fees. When we first moved in the HOA fee was $90 and last year it was increased to $105 with a special assestment fee of an additional $120 as a one time payment to go towards a "reserve" fund. Just recently the fee has increased again to $120 and we are told that we will have to pay another special assessment fee of $400 for this year.

    Does anyone have any experience with HOA boards and why they would be for this kind of increase? Do condo HOA's really need reserve funds? Any ideas or insight would be appreciated.

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  3. #2
    yep they can raise it whenever they want. they can also give a special assessment whenever they want for as much as they want.
    I had one for 10 years finally got out from under it, couldn't ever trade it and I had good trade season. they assessed us 3 times and we had to pay it or lose our week and they put your credit in the hole.

    GET RID OF IT is my suggestion.
    Don't talk unless you can improve the silence.
    The trout do not rise in the cemetery, so you better do your fishing while you are still alive. SGH

  4. #3

    ...

    Not quite as bad as offpiste makes it sound. You need to check your CC&Rs to determine exactly how much the HOA fees can go up (normally a %). It is likely that if no one else has objected to the increases, then the CC&Rs allow for them. In theory, the increases in the fees and assessments may go to improving the complex, grounds, etc.

    Check the CC&Rs. You can also request an accounting from the condo board to see how the money is being spent or being set aside.

    Reserve funds are funds set aside to cover big expenses, such as replacing a roof on a building or re-paving roads. All this depends on how the HOA is set up and what it controls.

    It sounds like offpiste was dealing with a timeshare/vacation rental, not a traditional owner occupied condominium.

    Hope that helps.
    go away old man winter...

  5. #4
    I will check the CC&R's. What I dont understand is that the board members will have to pay the same as everybody else, right? Why would they be happy to pay more. I am considering putting it up for sale.

  6. #5
    Interesting - I just had this conversation at lunchtime today. The CC&R hold all the rules. Your choices are: join the board, accept the situation, or move.

  7. #6
    If you join the Board, bring plenty of gentle laxatives to share because the board is usually comprised of really old, conservative people who probably lived through the depression. You should be fine when any "rainy day" actually happens.
    Life is Good

  8. #7
    I live in a condo, and I pay a monthly fee of $125. That pays for snow removal, mowing the lawn, pool and jacuuzi maintence, water-sewer-garbage. We have a yearly meeting, and it is put to a vote to increase.
    Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, as vital to our lives and water and good bread
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  9. #8
    I lived for 20 years in a townhouse and saw my fees only increased a couple of times. Our largest expense was snow removal, a lot of snow and the association would go broke. As the units aged, up keep became an issue. Insurance is another item that keeps rising and the association needs to have good insurance.

    On two occasions we sued the builder for shoddy construction and won both times. A strong management is well worth the expense.

    Our small sub division has a HOA but we self manage it with very low fees, $200 per year. Our problem is apathy, no one shows up for meetings but they sure can complain when changes are made!

    Win
    Quoting my best friend, Bob McNally, after a bad boating trip: "Nature scares me!"

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  10. #9
    Carbon Footprint Donor JP's Avatar
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    Not a huge fan of HOA, can lead to some serious discrimination.

  11. #10
    Aspiring Trail Bum Bad Karma's Avatar
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    I live in a condo and my fee is over $250 (yes I'm getting screwed and I also have my place for sale if anyone want to buy it) My fee covers everything but electric/cable/internet. With this large of a fee I do not have to worry about a special payment if something major goes wrong as the reserve is pretty large at my place. My complex is rather old and they have had some emergency roof repairs/parking lot repairs and they are budgeting to replace the boiler that's from the dark ages.

    My condo fee goes up every year. It sucks. The cost of living also goes up though so ther's ont a lot I can do about it. If I had a house I'm sure my heating bill and other utilities would have increased every year too. Does it suck - yes, but HOA or not I suspect you'd be paying more.

    Now IMO HOA boards do suck...not quite on the level of lawyers and contractors, but not far from the tree either

  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by JP
    Not a huge fan of HOA, can lead to some serious discrimination.
    Agreed. Like an entire HOA board of ladies who told me it was time to remove my American flag as I'd left it on display many weeks after a national holiday. I told them "Over my dead body!", and they didn't press the issue for long after that.

    Good thing I made the smart choice and moved away. Bought my own home, and have no complaints about that choice!

  13. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Mooseman70
    Quote Originally Posted by JP
    Not a huge fan of HOA, can lead to some serious discrimination.
    Agreed. Like an entire HOA board of ladies who told me it was time to remove my American flag as I'd left it on display many weeks after a national holiday. I told them "Over my dead body!", and they didn't press the issue for long after that.

    Good thing I made the smart choice and moved away. Bought my own home, and have no complaints about that choice!
    Nobody's going to tell me to take my Ute flag down.

    It'll be flying high from now into to the fall...


  14. #13

    Re: ...

    Quote Originally Posted by drboudreaux
    Not quite as bad as offpiste makes it sound. You need to check your CC&Rs to determine exactly how much the HOA fees can go up (normally a %). It is likely that if no one else has objected to the increases, then the CC&Rs allow for them. In theory, the increases in the fees and assessments may go to improving the complex, grounds, etc.

    Check the CC&Rs. You can also request an accounting from the condo board to see how the money is being spent or being set aside.

    Reserve funds are funds set aside to cover big expenses, such as replacing a roof on a building or re-paving roads. All this depends on how the HOA is set up and what it controls.

    It sounds like offpiste was dealing with a timeshare/vacation rental, not a traditional owner occupied condominium.

    Hope that helps.
    yep that's right, sorry for going the wrong direction, I just seen HOA, condo and assessment. Bad experience for me in that area.
    Don't talk unless you can improve the silence.
    The trout do not rise in the cemetery, so you better do your fishing while you are still alive. SGH

  15. #14
    Thank you for the replies. I appreciate the feedback.

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