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What are CDD fees?

Posted 12-08-2009 at 10:55 AM by SoFLGal

CDDs are boards that levy fees on homeowners in certain developments in order to build amenities such as pools, golf courses, club houses, etc, without having to raise the local tax rate. They are also used to construct roads and lay in utility lines that serve the homeowners who pay the CDD fees.

Homeowners pay a certain amount every year, rather than being assessed for the entire fee up front. CDD fees are also tax deductible for the property owner, as opposed to HOA fees, which are not. They also enable builders to create upscale communities that wouldn’t be possible without the CDD fees

Buyers often don’t know the risks and aren’t told about all the things that can happen, such as fees going up or paying for amenities that don’t directly benefit the homeowners. Currently, Florida law only requires a sales contract to include a disclaimer stating that CDDs may be imposed on the property. Homeowners are often surprised to learn that the CDD fees may increase at the developer’s discretion, with no recourse available to them. This is because CDD boards are initially comprised of the developer’s associates and are not required to have any homeowner representation for up to the first six years of their existence.

My advice: if you’re purchasing a home in a self-contained community, be sure to ask your real estate agent, or the developer, if there is a CDD clause in the contract.

Homeowners' associations, or HOAs, are formal legal entities created to maintain common areas; they have the authority to enforce deed restrictions. Most condominium and townhome developments, and many newer single-family subdivisions have HOAs, which are usually created when the development is built. Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&R's) are issued to each homeowner, and HOAs are established to ensure that they are adhered to in order to maintain the quality and value of the properties involved.

HOA's can be charged monthly, quarterly or yearly. If the community was maintenance free then you might have fees associated with that. Also some communities include certain things like: cable, water, etc

Features of a Homeowners' Association:
•Membership is mandatory for all property owners within the development

•Members are usually charged mandatory fees

•Homeowners associations have the authority to enact and enforce maintenance and design standards in addition to those established by City ordinances

•Homeowners' associations are corporations with formal bylaws - there is usually a governing board which hires a property management company to handle maintenance and enforcement issues

•Many homeowners' associations publish a newsletter

Other restrictions that may be enforced by an HOA: parking on street, landscaping approval or types of plants, garage door being open, fence restrictions, pool restrictions, erection of basketball hoops or tree houses, storage of boats and RVs, number of pets, age requirements of residents. There can be more.

If you want to start a discussion on a controversial topic, start talking about Homeowners' Associations. You are bound to find people who appreciate them, people who despise them, and people who are somewhere in the middle. Those who like Homeowners' Associations say that they protect the value of their homes and neighborhoods. They do this by keeping the area looking attractive, and making sure no one does anything wild, like painting their house gold and pink, parking an 18-wheel truck on their front lawn, leaving dismantled vehicles in the street, or running a flea market in the driveway. Opponents of HOAs point to overzealous and unscrupulous HOA boards, fee increases that can't be declined, and rules that are far too restrictive, from what kind of shrubs to plant, to placement of a clothesline, to preventing the displaying of the American flag. Anti-HOA organizations believe that the HOA are private governments that set themselves above the law.

Whether or not to live in a development governed by CC&R's and an HOA is an individual choice. Prospective home buyers should:
•Read any CC&R's recorded against the home and make sure they can live with the conditions and restrictions contained in the document prior to close of escrow.

•Find out what the current dues are. Once you buy the home, you can't decline to pay the dues. If you do, you could be evicted and your home could be sold to liquidate the debt. HOA dues can range from $20 per month to hundreds per month, depending on the property and the amenities provided by the community.

•Find out how often the dues have been raised during the history of the HOA. Will you be able to withstand future increases or will you have to move? Find out if the HOA has cash reserves.

•Determine if there are term limits for the Board, and if Board members have attended training sessions in efficient HOA management

•Determine if there is litigation pending involving the HOA
Posted in Uncategorized
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  1. Old Comment
    Where can you get training for efficient HOA management in Columbus OH?
    Posted 07-17-2012 at 09:44 AM by saralea saralea is offline

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