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
Related To:

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!)

Next Up

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.

Under One Roof: The Return of Multigenerational Homes

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

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.

Seven Tips for a Fast, Easy Move

Settle in quickly with these pointers from a professional mover.

The Red Flags of Mortgage Fraud

With mortgage brokers like these, you don’t need enemies. Know how to protect yourself from a scam.

Moving Checklist: 4 Tips to Get You Going

Moving to a new home? Here are four tips to get the ball rolling.

Buyers: What to Do When You Lose Your Job While In Escrow

You're in the middle of buying a home when the dreaded pink slip arrives. Find out how one couple handled the unwelcome turn of events.

Homeowner's Insurance for Condo Owners

Unlike owning a home, when you buy a condo your homeowner’s insurance policy doesn't cover your belongings. Here's how to protect your personal property.

Home Pricing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

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

Deciding How to Move

You're moving! Now it's time to decide how you're going to get there. Before you start filling boxes with your belongings, consider which moving options work best for you.