When you buy into an HOA community, you’re making a commitment—one with some definite upsides but also some obligations and responsibilities to be aware of. It’s not a decision to make lightly, and before buying into any HOA, it’s good to sit down with a representative of the Association and ask some key questions. Your real estate agent can help you arrange this sit-down.

As for what you should ask, here are five key questions that can help you make an informed decision.

5 Things to Ask the HOA

1. How much are the dues?

Buying into an HOA means paying monthly (or in some cases annual) dues. It goes without saying that you’ll want to know what these dues consist of before you make the purchase. Also, ask if there is a history of dues increasing.

2. Can I see recent financial documents?

You always want to make sure you’re buying into an HOA that’s financially sound—so ask to see recent budgets and reserve studies. Make sure there is ample funding set aside for things like emergency repairs. You can also ask about vendor contracts—for instance, how much does the HOA pay for landscaping each month—to help you make an informed decision.

3. How many units are owned versus rented?

As you look for a good, stable neighborhood, you’ll want an HOA where most of the units are owned. If more than 10 percent are rented, that’s usually a red flag.

4. What does the HOA provide?

Does the HOA handle lawn maintenance? Do they take care of the pool and common areas? Always make sure you get a sense of what the HOA does and what you’re responsible for.

5. What are some opportunities for service?

Be a good, productive member of the HOA! Ask what opportunities there are for you to get involved with the community—whether that means one day running for a seat on the Board or simply accepting a position on a volunteer committee.

Doing Your Due Diligence

There are a number of benefits to living in an HOA community—but not all Associations are created equal, and it’s important to know exactly what you’re buying into. Usually, you can get a good sense of the Association’s health just by asking the right questions. To learn more about any of this, feel free to reach out to Kuester Management Group any time!

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