Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A New Way to HOA?

One thing to always keep in mind when planning to purchase a condominium or into a similar “common-interest community,” is the HOA, or Homeowner’s Association. You will need to think about how involved you will be in the HOA and how much you can afford to spend on the monthly fees and possible special assessments.

The HOA is a community comprised of all the individual homeowners and is represented by an elected board consisting of homeowners who oversee the management and development of the entire building or organization. They do everything from enforcing the rules of the building to organizing maintenance and upkeep to handling problems that might arise. If you are living in a smaller development, say two to eight units, you will more likely be involved with the HOA versus if you live in a larger building, of say 100 units or more.

Monthly HOA fees can vary wildly, so you need to figure how much you can afford. They might cover general maintenance to utilities to the salary for a concierge. The arrangement is different for every association, so make sure to find out what it covers. You might also get hit with a “special assessment” should a significant problem arise. Perhaps the roof develops major leaks and a new roof is needed. Or perhaps a driveway or garage requires re-paving. Special assessments can surprise you, they can cost a lot, and you are responsible for your share.

But, keep in mind that the HOA can be your friend. For instance, the HOAs in several Emeryville condo buildings have been battling their developer for poor construction that led to mold and other problems. Those HOAs have led the legal battle on behalf of the residents and have made great strides so that the individual homeowners could continue their day-to-day lives as smoothly as possible.

But, could there be a better way to HOA? Bryan Wong is the VP of Community Association Products and Services for Popular Association Banking, and he specializes in helping HOAs run effectively and smoothly. For instance, he can arrange loans and banking services so that HOAs can better manage their money and create more affordable payment plans for the dreaded special assessments. Plus, they can help with litigation should that arise, or wisely invest the HOAs holdings to help prepare them for the future.

If you would like more information about HOA management, I invite you to get in touch with Bryan at 925-730-2183 or BWong@bpop.com. And, of course, I am always available for any of your needs at 510-547-5970 x57 or MSmartt@jps.net.

1 comment:

jason said...

Great post! I am gonna share it with my own blog readers at jason.landbrokr.com ! Thanks.