Author Topic: Upside/Downside to water association?  (Read 969 times)

MountainTown

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 269
Upside/Downside to water association?
« on: June 24, 2017, 07:28:34 AM »
I am looking at buying a house that is a $45/month water association fee. Does anyone know much about this? I'm not sure how these little divisions get setup and not just put on city water.. My realtor said it's just a private well basically but it is in town. Are there any downsides? Is there any research I should be looking into?

There are also some covenants but I didn't find them to be overly restrictive...

Thanks for any help in advance.

MountainTown

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 269
Re: Upside/Downside to water association?
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2017, 04:06:35 PM »
I should mention this is more commonly known as a "Shared well" agreement...anyone heard of this?

mateo_alou

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Re: Upside/Downside to water association?
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2017, 08:49:06 AM »
I work for a (larger) water district.  These smaller associations generally form when the cost to maintain a connection to a larger water district ("city water") is cost prohibitive, and there is a source of clean water close by.   

The upside is that your water can, in general, be cheaper. Also, if you are against fluoridation, you are in luck.  Your water won't be fluoridated.  There are enforced water treatment standards for smaller associations just as there are for larger, so I wouldn't worry about water quality otherwise. 

The downside is that there are less users to spread infrastructure replacement costs among.  So, if that storage tank needs to be replaced, and it's $250,000 cost has to be spread out among the 100 association users instead of City Water spreading it out among, say, 200,000 users, you can see what will happen.  You will get a much larger supplemental assessment bill!  So, if this is something that concerns you, you may want to ask about the state of their water infrastructure.  Do they have any planned storage or treatment plant upgrades, and how will the cost be defrayed among association members? 

bognish

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 302
Re: Upside/Downside to water association?
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2017, 09:48:21 AM »
This is going to be highly dependent on where the property is and what the water laws are for that area. If you are in the west water rights are very important and regulated. I know people in CO, UT, TX and CA that live in areas of private water districts that got a rude awakening during the recent drought. When the water table drops and wells need to go deeper it is very expensive and the property value for a whole neighborhood drops at once. You are stuck with either a big assessment, a house with no water since the neighbors are broke and can't pay for a new well, or trying to sell your house at a much lower price with lots of other houses on the market. I would factor in a heavy discount for a house not on a town water system