What is an HOA (Home Owner’s Association)?

What is an HOA (Home Owner’s Association)?

If you’re looking for a Long Beach Condo for Sale, you probably already know that these condominiums belong to a community, then it’s always good to have a basic understanding of the governing body.  That governing body is referred to as the Home Owner’s Association (HOA).  Let’s jump in!

Home Owner’s Association

International Tower Home Owner's AssociationWe should probably start at the beginning.

A condominium is part of what is defined as a “Planned Development”.  A “planned development” goes back to the initial construction and development of a piece of land.  The developers filed with the city to “develop” a piece of land into a community.  This community would offer it’s members amenities that wouldn’t ordinary be found in every day homes.  Swimming pools, gyms, club houses, 24 security, gated access to name a few.

In order to be a part of this community, owners of the units are required to pay either monthly or annual HOA dues or HOA fees.  Those monies are to be used for the general upkeep of the property as well as any repairs that might be required to “common areas”.

Common areas are those areas that are shared by everyone in the community.  Swimming pools, gyms, etc. can be used by the community.  The swimming pool requires upkeep.  The home owner’s association would hire a pool company to maintain the pool and keep it clean.

Who is the Home Owner’s Association?

The home owner’s association is governed by a Board of Directors.  Their membership to the “board” is decided through an election.  As with any company, there is a president and treasurer.

What does the Board of Directors do?

  • Representing the Home Owners
  • Comply with all State laws
  • Maintaining Common Areas
  • Managing Budgets
  • Assigning Assessments
  • Fiduciary Duty
  • Adoption and Enforcement of Rules aka CC&Rs
  • Keeping Books and Records
  • Handling Emergencies

The board of directors are there to serve the community.  This means that any member can go into the HOA office and ask to see the books regarding the finances that are being paid.  State law requires that the books be provided.  It is, after all, your money.  You have the right to know how it is being spent.

Do I have to pay the HOA fees?

Yes, if you are the owner of a dwelling that exists in the planned community then you must pay the Home Owner Association fees.

What if a refuse?

Oh, so you’re being a rebel now eh?  The CC&Rs will dictate what the board can and cannot do.  For some associations, the board may not have the power to do much of anything.  But amendments can be added to the CC&Rs giving the board the enforcement power it needs to collect delinquent HOA dues.

It is not uncommon that a home owner association will place a lien on the property.  They can then seize the property and then sell it to collect back dues.   Because of the lien in place, the HOA will collect their back dues with the owner receiving the proceeds if any are left over after paying off the mortgage.  Of course, the State Legislature has put measures in place to ensure that the HOA simply cannot foreclosure on your property if you 5 minutes late.

Moral of the story: pay your dues.

In most loans, the lender requires HOA dues be collected as part of the mortgage payment.  The borrower has no choice but to pay this fee because it is part of their mortgage payment.  Lenders will not accept partial payments.  And lenders also want to protect their investment in your property.

Summary

If you’re thinking of purchasing a condominium, you will have to join the Home Owner’s Association.  Membership comes at the expense of dues payable to the board.  These fees are paying for the life style that you want to have.  It could be considered a convenience fee, whereby you pay someone to take care of all of those things you don’t want to manage yourself.

By | 2016-06-13T04:35:21+00:00 June 13th, 2016|Home Buyer|0 Comments

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