Home Buying in Lawrence>Question Details

Sarah, Both Buyer and Seller in Huss

How do HOA work and what are property taxes on Townhomes and Condos compared to single family houses?

Asked by Sarah, Huss Mon Sep 17, 2007

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Pam Winterbauer’s answer
HOA work or repairs usually comes out of your association dues that are collected monthly. In some cases if there is unexpected work that was not budgeted there could be a special assessment.

On an annual basis the association creates a budget to cover future maintenance costs and may may changes in your dues.

Property taxes are based on the purchase price irrespective if it's a single family or townhouse/condo.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 17, 2007
Pam Winterba…, Real Estate Pro in ,
Hi Sarah:
A homeowners association's involvement in a subdivision, condominium complex, or townhome vary based on the covenants & restrictions placed on the property by either the developer or the builder.

The basic premise is that the HOA hires a management company to oversee the rules & restrictions that were put into place. It's sort of a security measure (for lack of a better word) to help homeowners protect their investment.

In other words - unlike an unrestricted neighborhood, you have some assurance that your neighbors will be held to the same standard and therefore your property value can be stable based on the outward appearance of the home & any common areas that make your subdvision beautiful or unique: Landscaping, community pool, and/or tennis etc.

It's a double edged sword for many of us. We love knowing that we are protected, however, somehow this gets lost in translation and the management company forgets who is employing them. So, you will get a plus & minus reaction from those who have had good or bad experiences.

On the question of taxes... well, that really based on the assessed value of a home - so you would have to check with your local government to see how taxes are calculated.. oops I see Cindi has a great link for you!

Much luck and I wish you the best on your journey!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 18, 2007
The link below will help you with Kansas property tax...including calculations. It's a great time to buy real estate. Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 17, 2007
The Hagley G…, Real Estate Pro in Pleasanton, CA
Sarah -

As a Realtor in Lawrence I am confident in my responses to your questions. All of the answers below are quality answers to your questions. If you desire specific information regarding neighborhoods/HOAs in Lawrence, Kansas please let me know. I would be happy to send you homeowner's docs and/or coventants and restrictions which I most likely have on file at my office.

To reiterate the taxes, they are based solely on the value (single family home or townhome/duplex does not matter) which is then multiplied by the mill levy. You can find current tax values at the web site listed below as they are a matter of public record.

Thanks for your time -

Jason Todd
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 20, 2007
Hi Sarah:

Jeannette gave you a very detailed description on how HOA works, so I won't repeat what has already been stated by her..

Just to clarify, which Jeannette already said, HOAs exists not only for just condos or townhomes, there are HOAs for single family homes also - basically it can be formed for any subdivisions and everybody within that HOA will abide by certain CC & R, and a lot of times it employees a management company and perhaps has maintenance contracts with some companies to upkeep the exterior.

For Marin, the definition of Townhome is really the style of the house, it is usually attached, two (or more) story homes, but there is no neighbors above or below, so in general, it is more popular than the other ones where there might be multiple stories but each home occupies one story.

The ownership of the house defines whether one is condo or single family home. The owner of the condo owns the internal space of the home and not the exterior.

So what the HOA fee cover varies from one HOA to another. Most the HOAs for condos will cover exterior maintenance, including siding, roof, landscaping, sometimes utilities such as garbage, water,; but some HOAs for SFR covers the same also to ensure there is uniformed look and standard throughout the complex.

Be careful when you read CC&Rs to find out how the HOA is run, what are the rules and if you can live by the rules after you move in. Also read their financial statement and at least 12 months of meeting minutes to find out how solid the financial situation is and if there are any major problems or assessments coming up in the near future (which you will have to pay).

However, do remember that HOA fee helps with the maintenance of items (such as painting, roof, etc) which a SFR homeowner will also have to budget and do periodically.

Property tax is totally independent of HOA and is set by the state/county.

Hope this helps.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 18, 2007
Sylvia Barry,…, Real Estate Pro in Marin, CA
If you are a buyer in California the property taxes are based on the purchase price of the home. 1.25% of the purchase price. The tax payment can go up 2% per year. So if your property taxes are $5000/yr then the next year they could go up to $5100.

The HOA often take care of the exterior of the unit. Although it really depends on the unit. Some take care of termites and others do not. Some take care of cable and others no. You need to check with the HOA for the specific complex.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 17, 2007
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