When people think about HOAs, they might think that these are limited to neighborhoods and areas filled with traditional houses. But this is not the case: while HOAs are commonly associated with single-family residences, residential properties like townhomes and condominium buildings also have HOA fees.
Your HOA dues, after all, pay for the upkeep and maintenance of shared public spaces. So, here are some of the things you should know about the HOA in your condominium building and what you should expect.
Condo Insurance Can Protect Your from Loss Assessments
If you’re thinking about getting better condo insurance, here’s one reason why you should: the special assessment or loss assessment coverage often included in condo insurance packages. If a shared space needs repairs because of extensive damage, the cost for the HOA to repair the damages may not be fully covered by the regular HOA dues and the HOA’s own insurance policy.
To fix this, your HOA will require all condo owners to chip in to cover the excess costs. That is what’s known as a loss assessment. Your insurance can cover you from these added expenses that could cause a strain in your budget.
Use Your Amenities – You’re Paying for It Anyway
The average HOA fee is $200 per month, but the dues between condominium associations vary between buildings. One reason why are the amenities provided: condominiums with swimming pools, jogging tracks, gyms, laundry facilities, and other shared spaces have higher HOA dues than those that don’t. So, whether or not you choose to use these facilities, you’re still liable to pay for them every month.
Since you’re paying for it, try to make the most out of what your building has to offer. Instead of paying for a gym membership, use the fitness facilities they have. Try to find time to use the laundry facilities. And try to relax in the shared green spaces available.
Everyone Has to Pay (or the HOA Will Take It Out on Everyone)
Regardless of whether or not you use the public spaces, you, as a condo owner, are responsible for paying your monthly dues. If you do not pay the fees as well as the special assessments, your HOA can seek legal action against you. For late payments, the HOA may impose fines, while other HOAs may file a legal case, place a lien, or foreclose the owner’s property until the past dues are paid.
Until such time you pay your dues, the HOA can shift payment of the missed payments to the other residents in the building. If several members fail to pay the HOA fees, the building may lack the funds to maintain and repair shared spaces or pay for security and cleaning services.
While shopping for condos, it may be a good idea to look at the available amenities and the average dues you’ll be expected to pay when you live in the condo. Some parts of the dues like the price per square foot or square meter are a fixed cost, so this can help you estimate a monthly budget for the expenses you may incur if you become a resident.
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