Author Topic: HOA Fees on Condo/Townhouse-What is the most you would pay?  (Read 3105 times)

ForeverLearning

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HOA Fees on Condo/Townhouse-What is the most you would pay?
« on: September 18, 2017, 07:05:08 AM »
For those who live or have had past experiences with condo HOA fees, how much is TOO much?
I do understand that the locality would definitely have a impact. We have owned 2 homes in the past with no HOA, so we were a little shocked at how high the fees can go up.

Currently, we own a older condo where the HOA fee is $185 which is normal for our area. Our HOA actually does a great job, it is normal in our neighborhood that when a condo goes on the market a contract goes on within 48 hours. We have agents sending letters yearly to ask if we are willing to sell. Just wanted to give a little background.....nice area, just older.

However, 2 miles down the road are the nicer new condos but the HOA fees are $440. We would love to live in a newer home but cannot swallow this fee. For those who pay higher fees what is your rationale please?
We are going to look at the property tomorrow & just trying to understand why the fee is so high...The condo is not that expensive: $170k, which we could have it paid off in 5 years, but every month after that would be HOA fee+taxes+insurance=Over $800 month on a paid off condo 'forever'. Doesn't seem quite MUSTACHIAN?
The new location does have a pool but so does the older one. The new one does have a parking garage but is that enough to charge that high of a fee??


The question is leaning more to those paying HOA fees rather than if you would choose to live in a community with a HOA. If it helps we live in southeast part of the country.
Thank you & looking forward to reading your responses.

Car Jack

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Re: HOA Fees on Condo/Townhouse-What is the most you would pay?
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2017, 08:25:48 AM »
Something you could look into.  At the development with $440 HOA fees, are any places available for rental?  If so, give up the ownership and just rent, if the rent is reasonable.  A lease locks in your cost while the landlord takes the bath.

Being the independent type, I'd never pay more than zero for an HOA.  I have none and am quite happy with that.

I'm a red panda

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Re: HOA Fees on Condo/Townhouse-What is the most you would pay?
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2017, 08:30:52 AM »
$440 seems insane to me.  I've lived places where rent was less than that.

And in my experience, HOA fees often go up, but never go down.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2017, 08:38:58 AM by iowajes »

CupcakeGuru

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Re: HOA Fees on Condo/Townhouse-What is the most you would pay?
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2017, 08:35:09 AM »
It all depends on what is included in the HOA fee. I lived in one place that the fee covered heat, water, taxes and garbage and it was almost $500 per month.

Cwadda

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Re: HOA Fees on Condo/Townhouse-What is the most you would pay?
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2017, 12:13:58 PM »
It all depends on what is included in the HOA fee. I lived in one place that the fee covered heat, water, taxes and garbage and it was almost $500 per month.
+1

If an HOA fee is normally $300/month but gets inflated because a bunch of crazy assessments, stay away!  Make sure the association is healthy, I think that's what's the most important.

Dave1442397

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Re: HOA Fees on Condo/Townhouse-What is the most you would pay?
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2017, 01:50:00 PM »
My MIL's 1-br condo is worth maybe $150k, and her monthly fee is $895. That includes electricity and water.

Cwadda

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Re: HOA Fees on Condo/Townhouse-What is the most you would pay?
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2017, 02:18:27 PM »
My MIL's 1-br condo is worth maybe $150k, and her monthly fee is $895. That includes electricity and water.

I would sell immediately.

Dave1442397

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Re: HOA Fees on Condo/Townhouse-What is the most you would pay?
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2017, 04:50:36 PM »
My MIL's 1-br condo is worth maybe $150k, and her monthly fee is $895. That includes electricity and water.

I would sell immediately.

It seems to be the norm in NJ. Anyway, she's 88 and refuses to move, which is fine for now. Between SS and investments, she should outlive her assets.

Zero Degrees

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Re: HOA Fees on Condo/Townhouse-What is the most you would pay?
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2017, 05:09:56 PM »
I live in the Midwest. HOA fee years 1 through 7 (this was a brand new development)  $192/month

HOA fee years 8 through 10 (now-2017)  $185/month. Includes all landscaping and tons of amenities. I believe it has remained stable because more homes have been built over the years to share in the cost.   The building stopped about 3 years ago, but I suspect they may go up at some point. 

The most I would be willing to pay is $250.

Rubic

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Re: HOA Fees on Condo/Townhouse-What is the most you would pay?
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2017, 09:24:08 AM »
For those who live or have had past experiences with condo HOA fees, how much is TOO much?

I owned a condo for 7 years.  My initial HOA fee was $110/month, but by the time I had left
it had increased to > $200.

Furthermore, there were special assessments, including a $2,000 assessment that I had to
pay one month prior to selling my condo.

I'm not posting this information to deter you from buying a condo, but there's not guarantee
your HOA fees will remain constant.

Spitfire

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Re: HOA Fees on Condo/Townhouse-What is the most you would pay?
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2017, 10:12:16 AM »
Mine is $265 and does not include water. It includes a community pool, landscaping, and building insurance. I think the property is maintained well. They paint, pave the parking lot, replace the roof timely, and they budget/reserve for those major items so there aren't special assessments.

MNBen

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Re: HOA Fees on Condo/Townhouse-What is the most you would pay?
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2017, 11:31:13 AM »
It all depends on what is included in the HOA fee.

+1

An Association is often required to purchase items, many of which are costs they can't control inflation, other than to do their best to get the best price or reduce usage:  insurance, utilities, etc.

Then there are a few items which are priced based on the Association preferences:  Landscaping, etc.

Then there are some optional things that sometimes an Association can get at a group rate which is much less than an individual:  Cable, Internet, etc.

Finally, an Association is supposed to (and sometimes legally required to) save money in a reserve account for future planned improvements:  Roof replacement, siding, road replacement, Painting, etc.

This last one is where the "cheap" vs. "expensive" can really stand out and should be investigated by the buyer. 

Example: 
  • Home #1 - Association of 50 homes has $10,000 in their reserve account, $150/month dues and place looks a little run down.
  • Home #2 - Association of 50 homes has $600,000 in their reserve account, $350/month dues, and place looks well kept.

Monthly Dues are just one piece of the puzzle!

gggggg

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Re: HOA Fees on Condo/Townhouse-What is the most you would pay?
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2017, 11:54:37 AM »
I would pay $0. I live in a townhouse that is older, and the neighborhood doesn't have HOA; I sought it out just for that reason. I'm not going to pay someone to tell me whether I can paint my trim a certain color, or if my grass is 1/2" too long. Horses for courses and all.

Megma

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Re: HOA Fees on Condo/Townhouse-What is the most you would pay?
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2017, 07:35:46 PM »
440 is a ton when you're currently paying 150, it makes me think that 440 is really high for you area.

But I agree it would depend on what the fee covered. I pay 200ish for my townhouse which includes all exterior maintenance, the roof, landscaping, pool, tennis courts and 2 kids play grounds. There is a fancy development nearby that's 330, I think that's too high.

Dicey

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Re: HOA Fees on Condo/Townhouse-What is the most you would pay?
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2017, 07:51:56 AM »
Related: The best way to manage fees is to get on the board. Years ago, my condo was going to have a special assessment to replace the roofs on all six buildings. No way was I going to pull 1.5 mortgage payments out of savings to pay for it, I was headed for FIRE! I asked if we needed to do all six at once. The roofer's report said we could do them two at a time. By doing two per year, we were able to do the second and third set more efficiently. We were also able to cash flow them, so no special assessment was needed and our reserves stayed robust. Mustachianism for the win!

Answer to question: A LOT! We own 3 rentals in a Senior Resort Community. The dues are paid quarterly. It's about $280/month/house. The amenities are ridiculous: 2 Golf Courses, a Putting Course, Driving Range Pro Shop, 3 expansive clubhouses (including theater, ballroom, many specialized activity rooms, classrooms, Coffee Bar, several restaurants, beautiful library, billiards center, 2 large gyms, Dance Hall, and a Post Office). There are 3 huge outdoor pools, a giant indoor pool, spas, tennis and pickle ball courts, bocce center, a softball field, dog park, RV Yard, immaculate grounds, staffed gates and 24-hr. security. These houses rent easily and have low tenant turnover, partly because of all the amenities. It's a lot of bang for the bucks.

Goldielocks

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Re: HOA Fees on Condo/Townhouse-What is the most you would pay?
« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2017, 11:25:20 AM »
As others have stated, in addition to ammenities (gym / pool / concierge), otherwise identical HOAs can vary depending if they include:

1) Insurance -- some condos group buy homeowners insurance instead of everyone paying $600/year directly.
2) Utilities -- elect, heat, cable, trash removal, water -- what is included?
3) Responsibility for exterior items like windows and doors.
4) How much per month is going to the future contingency fund?

Around here, older HOAs are not responsible for the exterior windows and doors, and could grandfather that in, but the newer ones sold ARE legally responsible, and had to charge a lot to fill up a contingency allowance for use in 15-25 years.


The next items to look for difference:
1) Amenities
2) Type of construction / siding / roofing that increases maintenance costs.
3) Landscaping
4) Whether they own and maintain their own internal roads and the pipes under those roads.
5)  Requirement to offer x units of subsidized housing, that doesn't pay its share into the HOA fund, as a condition of building permit.