What to ask about an HOA BEFORE you purchase

Questions to ask about Homeowner Associations (HOAs):

There are 11 important HOA questions to focus on to make sure that you are buying in a neighborhood with a strong Homeowner’s association (HOA).

If you’re looking to purchase a home in the greater Raleigh area then you probably already know that HOAs are everywhere!  In fact, we definitely have more communities with HOAs, than without HOAs.  These questions will help you figure out which neighborhood and what association is best for your needs.

In a blog post called  Homeowner Associations? Are they a good thing, or a bad thing?  we talked about the role of an HOA.  In the post, we explained how HOAs are formed, their purpose, and the benefits and problems associated with homeowner associations. You will find it helpful to review that too.

However, since you’re very likely to run into HOAs, here are the questions to ask so that you’ll be able to get some sense of the health of the HOA and how it will affect your bottom line.

Ask your lender these HOA questions:

  1.  Will the additional cost of the HOA cause trouble for your budget?
  2. Will your lender need additional information about the HOA before they fund your loan?

Ask the HOA Association Representative these questions:

  1. What services do the HOA fees cover? What don’t they cover?
  2. How often has the HOA increased fees in the last few years?
  3. Do you have to buy into the HOA?  Some neighborhoods will charge an upfront fee to new homeowners to join the neighborhood.
  4. How many homeowners are NOT paying their fees?  Financial issues could change the budget and the quality of services offered.
  5. Does the HOA have a reserve fund for long-term repairs and maintenance, and if so, how much is in it?
  6. Does the HOA have a history of charging special assessments? If so, how much were they, what were they for and how often did they occur?

Ask your Realtor these HOA related questions:

  1.  Do the fees seem reasonable when compared with other neighborhoods?
  2.  Does the MLS history show appreciation for the neighborhood?
  3. Is there any problem with time on the market for homes in the neighborhood?

Ask yourself these HOA related questions:

  1.  After you have reviewed the covenants for the neighborhood, can you be sure that you feel comfortable that they are reasonable for your lifestyle?
  2. Would you be interested in being part of the association membership so that you can help create the overall sense of community within the neighborhood?

If you would like to talk to a Realtor about Homeowner Associations here in the greater Triangle Area, please feel free to reach out to us at (919) 481-4914.  We are happy to help.

Triangle Trusted Realty, Inc. (919) 481-4914, Info@TriangleTrusted.com