HOA's: All for One and One for All?

The Home Owners Association usually bears responsibility for repairing condo building exteriors, but it doesn't always cover general maintenance. Read on to better understand your HOA's disclosures.
By: Tara-Nicholle Nelson

When you buy a condo or co-op, the HOA usually bears responsibility for maintaining and repairing the buildings' exteriors. However, if your HOA has a fairly small reserve account, and the roof(s) need to be replaced or the whole place needs painting, the HOA may vote to impose a special assessment on every unit's owner for their share of the repair bill. Large special assessments are usually proposed fairly far in advance -- a year or more is normal -- so if your inspector sees a lot of things wrong with the exterior of the property, pay special attention when you are reviewing HOA newsletters and board meeting minutes to see if repairs have been proposed, and if so, whether the expense will be covered by the HOA's reserves or special assessments against individual owners. Similarly, the pest inspectors often offer to split their condo inspection reports into sections based on whether the unit's owner or the HOA would be responsible for correcting the problem: under-sink leaks go under "Owner," and termites in the building's crawl space go under "HOA." And, unless your unit is a stand-alone townhome or in a building with only one other unit, it probably doesn't make sense to have a roof inspection. (The HOA is almost always responsible for the roof -- double check your HOA disclosures to be sure!)

Keep Reading

Next Up

Under One Roof: The Return of Multigenerational Homes

Enjoy your personal space? The space is about to get smaller -- and more personal.

11 Tips For Hiring Good Contractors (And Avoiding Bad Ones)

Veteran contractor Skip Bedell, star of the TV show Catch a Contractor , offers insider advice for picking the right contractor for your home renovation.

All About As-Is Offers

Here are some things to know if you're thinking of making an as-is offer on a home.

Tally Your Expenses — All of Them

Be honest about what you spend and what you can afford house-wise. These are the everyday expenses you need to consider when making a budget for your mortgage.

What Do I Do With All These Closing Papers?

As long as you own your home, you want to keep a copy of everything you sign. This checklist makes organizing easy.

Am I Really Ready to Buy a Home?

Overwhelmed by the idea of a monthly mortgage, taxes and other costs of owning a home? Do a little real estate therapy with expert Tara-Nicholle Nelson.

Homebuyers: Look for Signs of Poor Maintenance

Check the home's interior and exterior, including the roof and landscaping, carefully for signs of neglected upkeep. Learn more on HGTV.com.

Homeowner Tax Tip: How to Take More Money Home

The tax advantages of homeownership can help you bring home more money every month and afford a larger mortgage (read: better house) than you may think.

Renter or Seller: Timing Your Home Purchase

With a plan in place, suddenly buying a home feels a lot less stressful. Here are tips to ease the process.

Home Pricing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Sell your home fast by steering clear of these common pricing blunders.

On TV

Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.