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The Pros and Cons of Living in a HOA Community

posted on Aug 8, 2012

For many years, people have viewed condo communities as a safe financial investment and also as a way to live a laid back and carefree lifestyle.


The allure that most of these communities offer is relieving the homeowner of responsibilities like outdoor maintenance repairs, garbage pickup and landscaping. In order to pay for these conveniences however, a condo homeowner must pay a monthly home owners association fee.

In addition to the services listed above, these fees also generally cover other items like paying the water bill, hallway and outdoor lighting, and also the insurance premiums for the entire community. In more higher end communities, there can also be an additional cost to pay the salaries of on-site maintenance teams, a property manager, and also the salaries of gate security agents.

When it comes to living in a joined community, the rule that usually applies is that the more services offered the higher the monthly fee will be. In regard to individual monthly fee, these can range from one hundred dollars to over seven hundred dollars per month. The variation in price is based on the size of the community, amenities and your individual unit.

While moving into a condo community may sound like a good idea, studies have found that joined community living may not be for everyone. In addition, condo living may also not offer the carefree lifestyle as most people think.

For starters, in order to properly manage a home owners association community, it normally requires having an elected board of directors. The individuals that make up the board are individual home owners and investors. They are elected through a majority vote by the community, and depending on the position elected to, they generally serve for a term of two to three years. On most association boards today, these positions typically include president, vice president, secretary, two general board seats and a treasurer. These individuals are responsible for ensuring that the community is well run and managing all finances.

The problems many communities face today when it comes to electing a board team, is that there is usually not enough people who have the right type of background or experience. Having the right qualifications is especially important when it comes to managing a community with one hundred units or more. Just like in the real business world, the person elected to a president or treasurer position should have some form of leadership background and financial management experience. Unfortunately, this is not the case most of the time, which is why so many communities are often mismanaged. When this happens, it does not take long for a community to get into deep financial trouble.

So, before you make a decision to move into a condo community, it is very important that you read all the current by-laws and also review the backgrounds of all current board members. It is also a good idea to ask for a complete review of the community's current finances and obligations. By doing this, it will help determine if HOA community living is right for you.

 
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