I should probably point out that I purchased a unit built in the 80s and that's caused a lot of problems for our HOA. In the past 3 years, our dues have doubled and we've had special assesments total 20 percent of the value of our units.
That sounds bad but there's been an upside besides all the great skiing and epic hiking in the Dolly Sods: my unit has increased in value by 36% (maybe more) over the past three years and so my equity stake is more than keeping up with special assesments. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
The problem with special assesments is if they are as big as mine have been, you either have to borrow on the equity of your primary residence to cover them or pay out of pocket. A $2,500 special assesment due in January can really put a damper on plans to ski in Europe or the West.
On the other hand, if you budget for it and realize that you'll probably get the money back in the resail, it ain't as bad as it sounds.
One other thing to be concerned about. Condo HOA's have to put up with boatloads of CRAP, so be nice to those who volunteer to sit on these boards. In my development over the past year, the board has:
1. Attended court b/c a unit owner sued it over a special assesment.
2. Placed liens on several home owners who refused to pay special assesments.
3. Dealt with a serious wood theft problem and a problem with illegal dumping in our compactor.
4. Ordered an engineering study of our windows, siding, decks.
5. Taken bids for painting, siding, window, and deck replacement.
6. Negotiated with other developments on trash issues and road repair issues.
7. Neogotiated a new insurance contract.
8. Supervised the installation of a water shut off system in all of the units.
And these people would like to ski occasionally as well. Ok, you get the idea....