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Old 02-13-2010, 04:36 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
11 posts, read 63,612 times
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We have been looking at properties in West Palm (although this question applies to any area probably). I have been given a dizzying number of explanations of HOA structures, and I still don't feel comfortable with the whole concept. For instance:

We have been told that the HOA on an apartment is based on square footage. In a particular building that we like a lot (views of the intercoastal; walking distance to everything; good amenities, etc) there are two units available that are each 2 bed/2bath. They are have identical square footage (living and total), yet one has an HOA fee that is nearly $100 higher than the other.

Additional questions: if a building has significant vacancies will the HOA go up for the existing owner/tenants, since money is needed to maintain the building and its amenities. Or, if the building is fully, or nearly fully occupied will the HOA fees go up because the presence of more people means the building has more maintenance needs?

Do HOA fees ever go down? Should one expect HOA fees to creep up steadily over time, or do they remain stable?

I have seen condos in buildings that are supposedly solid, well run with good reserves and the HOA fees are still high. Conversely, I have seen buildings that appear to be a bit less well cared for and the HOA fees are very reasonable. Is there any rhyme or reason to this whole issue???
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Old 02-15-2010, 06:39 AM
 
475 posts, read 1,426,149 times
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HOA - is HOMEOWNER ASSOCIATION - you own your house that is in a community. It is your responsibilty to repair and maintain your roof, exterior of you home. Your HOA fees cover common expenses.

Multi - Story building are CONDOS - you only own the apartment. Not the building. Not the roof, not the hall way. You own from the paint of your apartment in. You Condo fees cover common expenses, maintenance of the building inside and out as well as Reserve Accts for replacement Roofs, Exterior Painting, Resurfacing of Parking lots etc.

It would probably be good to stick to the same thread rather than start a new one when you are asking about the same issue.

Last edited by Reedsmit; 02-15-2010 at 06:47 AM..
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Old 02-15-2010, 06:59 AM
 
475 posts, read 1,426,149 times
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[CENTER]11-12-2009, 07:38 PM
Reedsmit
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Join Date: Oct 2009
344 posts, read 117,057 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by derekjet
Saw a beautiful house inside a gated community in Boca Point, but noticed that the HOA fees are much higher because of gate security.

I know you cant put a price on safety, but is worth 3 times the cost for having it? I also know that HOA fees arent tax deductible.

Any thoughts on this or on Boca Point itself?

There are many things the the Association fees pay for in addition to Security.

Any amenties such as pools, tennis courts, golf courses, playground areas all need to be maintained, as well as having a Reserve Fund for major repairs.

Tennis Courts also have things like lights, nets, brooms, rollers, water fountains. All need maintained.

Your individual front yards have plants, sod and irrigation systems. All need maintained and repaired or replaced as needed.

The common areas need to be mowed, and fertilized, they also have irrigation systems. Your lakes have fountains and need to have the water tested and have chemicals which cause alge to grow added.

You club houses need to be cleaned along with your pool areas. Your sidewalks are pressure cleaned twice a year, and the trees get trimmed annually. If a tree dies it has to be removed, stump ground and a new tree is planted.

You have street signage inside your community and monument signs at your entrances. Annual flowers are planted and holiday decorations are purchased and displayed.

You have a management office to maintain and salaries for things like Attorneys, Accountants, Annual Audits, Maintenance people, a Management Co., a Security Co. and a Property Manager.

There are golf carts, office furniture, computers and office supplies, club house and pool furniture.

There are utility bills, gas for your pool heater, water, sewage, electric, cleaning supplies for the bathrooms.

Is it worth it? How much would you spend annually to mow your lawn, maintain your sprinklers, replace the plants in your yards, add mulch and trim the trees each year. How much would you pay for your basic cable. Now add to it what would you do if your neighbor across the street did not care if he mowed his lawn, never cleaned his driveway or roof. Worked on his cars in the front yard?

What if your house was for sale and your neighbor was doing those things? And it was effecting the value of your house.

All these things are what you pay for.

[/CENTER]
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Old 02-15-2010, 07:14 AM
 
475 posts, read 1,426,149 times
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You will need to ask the Condo about why Condo Fees are different for the two units in the same building.

Condo's I have managed would have different fees for units in the same building - based on square footage.

Condo's in the same Community may have different fees for the same size unit in different buildings based on the owners of that building agreeing by vote to pay for something extra that pertained to their building exclusively such as an upgrade of the lobby, entry system etc.

As far as vacancies in a building - this would be a concern at this time due to a high foreclosure rate. There could be a special assessment of the owners to cover shortfalls due to unit owners who are not paying.

No your dues do not go down: expenses always go up - because the items they pay for always go up, utilities, landscape contracts, insurance, salaries, things wearing out and reaching the end of their lifespan. Just as if you bought a new car in 1970 - you paid a couple thousand dollars - but today if you bought a new car you would pay $20,000 and up.

Condo and HOA fees are based on an Annual Budget. That budget is broken into specific catgories such as Landscape, Insurance, Operating costs - electric, water, etc. In preparing for that budget the Property Manager and the Board of Directors will look at the expenses for the year to date -(we did ours in Aug.) we would than to an estimate to year end based on the expenses during the previous months. We would look at areas we were over budget and under budget. If we had an area that was under budget - the board may adjust the budget for the upcoming budget year so less money would be allocated to that line item. If another line item was over budget - additional monies would be alloted in that area. Utility companies would be contacted as to any increases they anticipated for the upcoming year. Any contracts that were ending would be put out for new bids - including bids from companies other than the current one. All these numbers would be totaled. They would be divided by the number of units in the building or in the community - they CAN NOT INCREASE MORE THAN A SPECIFIC AMOUNT IN ANY ONE YEAR BY FLORIDA LAW.

The preposed budget is given to all owners which also includes what the quarterly assessment or monthly assessment will be per unit - and than the it is voted on.
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Old 02-22-2010, 07:29 AM
 
1 posts, read 1,927 times
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I am considering a move to South FL, and definitely want to live in a gated community. Security is all important.

I was wondering whether, with respect to communities with a golf course, the HOA cover golfing. Playing golf is an expensive hobby, and it would be unfair for nongolfers to subsidize golfers.

I would appreciate your responses.
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Old 02-22-2010, 08:10 AM
 
Location: Palm Beach, FL & Napa, CA
2,093 posts, read 5,347,820 times
Reputation: 1000
Quote:
Originally Posted by loubrent View Post
I am considering a move to South FL, and definitely want to live in a gated community. Security is all important.

I was wondering whether, with respect to communities with a golf course, the HOA cover golfing. Playing golf is an expensive hobby, and it would be unfair for nongolfers to subsidize golfers.

I would appreciate your responses.
Not typically, you will pay extra for a golf membership on top of HOA fees since some people don't play golf they make it optional.
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Old 02-22-2010, 09:17 AM
 
17,288 posts, read 28,139,872 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loubrent View Post
I am considering a move to South FL, and definitely want to live in a gated community. Security is all important.

I was wondering whether, with respect to communities with a golf course, the HOA cover golfing. Playing golf is an expensive hobby, and it would be unfair for nongolfers to subsidize golfers.

I would appreciate your responses.


It may be unfair, but some communities have mandatory membership in the golf and/or country club. Be sure to read EVERYTHING.
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Old 02-23-2010, 08:24 PM
 
70 posts, read 211,209 times
Reputation: 39
Yes, ditto that, make sure you ask about it explicitly and read the fine print. A friend of mine ended up having to pay for a golf membership that no one in her family has any interest in using.
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