Moving into a homeowners association can present some surprises if you aren’t informed beforehand. It’s up to you to ask the right questions before making the big purchase of buying any home. There are some specific things to consider when purchasing a home that’s a part of an Association.
Start here: Questions to Ask Before Moving into a Homeowners Association then find out as much as you can about the day-to-day happenings in the Association by answering the questions below.
Can I attend a board meeting?
Most homeowners association would welcome potential buyers at Association board meetings. As a potential buyer attending a meeting, seeing the items on the agenda will give you a sense of how the HOA is run, the people living there, and if there’s a sense of community and working together.
If you can’t make a meeting, ask for copies of the minutes to get a sense of the tone and what’s going on in the Association.
Do people seem to like living in the Association?
Take a walk or drive around the neighborhood at different times of day to get a sense of who lives there and their typical daily habits. Don’t hesitate to ask people how they like living in the homeowners association. Get as much information as possible. Since a homeowners association is governed by a community of people, you’ll be working with them too and you want to make sure you can live with them.
Is the Association well-funded?
Ask your realtor to get a set of current financials and the reserve study to try to understand where the HOA is financially. Again, this is where the realtor needs to understand the financials and the concept of a reserve study, so they can explain it to you.
For example, asking a question like “Is there going to be money for the clubhouse roof in 10 years or will the HOA be asking me for money in the form of a special assessment?”
If the answer to the question is no, it has not planned for new roofing materials, then it may lower a potential buyer’s offer on a home in the Association if they are going to potentially be faced with fees for roofing in a few years.
As a buyer, be assertive and proactive before choosing to move into an Association. Realtors in general may not be informed about the homeowners association you are potentially buying a home in, which means ultimately it’s the buyer’s responsibility to ask good questions and be informed. The buyer needs to be adamant about getting answers to their questions because individual needs and lifestyle directly affect where and how you live.