Condos can make for a great low maintenance lifestyle, second home, or investment property. One thing that is important to understand before you make your purchase is the fees associated with owning the property. While every condo is different, let's take a look at what condo HOA fees usually include, so you have a better idea of what to expect when you make your investment.
What Are HOA Fees?
To begin with, it is important to understand what HOA fees are in the first place. A home owner's association is a group of local residents that work together to plan neighborhood functions, amenity and communal space upkeep, and amend and enforce condo rules in an effort to maintain the values of all condos in the building. Condo owners are required to pay a portion of the expenses associated with these actions in a monthly, quarterly, or yearly fee.
Common Space Maintenance
When you own a condo you own the space with the walls of your unit. This means that the area between the walls, the lobby, and the exterior of the building is common space that must be kept up for everyone. Depending on your type of condo and location the following list of items is usually included in your HOA fees:
- Lawn Care
- Exterior Maintenance and Upkeep
- Pool maintenance and cleaning
- Garbage Collection
- Building Amenities
If your building has a beach or workout facility, then your HOA dues will go towards the maintenance of those and any other amenities the building has to offer, as well as the staff required to oversee or assist during working hours.
Master Insurance Policy
It is important to know that most condo owners are liable for insuring their personal property and maintaining the space inside the condo, but the HOA fee will cover a master insurance policy for the building. This will include coverage for storm damage, leaking roofs, and liability around the property.
Nontraditional Condo HOA Fees
With the broad range of condos and buildings available to purchase, you will also run across some HOA fees and situations that are atypical, but worth asking questions about.
Condotels – This type of condo is a mix of a hotel and condo, which can be commonly found in popular travel spots along the coast and in big cities. Additional HOA fees are possible because the condo is used as a hotel room when you are not using it yourself. These can be offset by the income of renting out the unit, but it is important to know the details associated with this type of building.
When you are in the market for a condo and building that has been in existence for a few years you need to ask about any special assessments that may be coming in the future. These are one time HOA fees for large repairs or upgrades that all buildings need at one time or another. The last thing you want to do is buy a condo and find out that a special assessment of several thousand dollars is due.
Always do your research and work with a knowledgeable Realtor when making your condo purchase, so that you know exactly what is covered in the specific condo HOA fees for that building.