my wife and i have lived in On Top of the World for 12 years.
our monthly maintenance fee has gone up usually about 8 or 9 dollars each year. two years while we have lived in OTOW the monthly maintenance fee did not go up at all. the year after Florida experience 5 hurricanes the fee went up $24 per month.
there is no way to "protect yourself from an increase in the monthly maintenance fee. the association reps decide the increases after consulting with the owners and the management company.
There has never been a special assessment at On Top of the World, and the owner always assures us at annual meetings that there will never be one unless there is a catastophic disaster in the tampa bay area.
my wife and i are full-time real estate agents and our primary market is OTOW. we have sold HUNDREDS of condos in here.
have a pleasant day!
As others have indicated, an occasional but reasonable increase in HOA fees is levied nearly every year. The HOA fees cover a lot of maintenance of each building to include roof replacement and many other items.
If a potential buyer can not afford an annual montly increase of for example, $12, he should not buy a unit at OTOW. If you can pay cash for a unit at OTOW, you should not find the annual monthly HOA fees too difficult to absorb in your budget.
OTOW is about as stable an association as you'll find.....they have it down to a science. Short of some major disaster, I cannot imagine what would cause any large increase. When I last looked, their reserves were excellent. With their modest purchase cost, they don't have a significant foreclosure problem ....that might affect the your fees.
I would assume your rental income to be zero as you make your decision. (The best source of rentals for OTOW would be age qualifying relatives and friends...plus some home town entries for vacation resort on Craigslist.) Don't underestimate the added costs of cleaning the condo between guests if renters are other than trustworthy, clean relatives and close fiends.
As for maintenance, you alone would be responsible for air conditioning service, hot water heater, appliances, plumbing and electrical issues and floor coverings inside your unit. You should have a homeowners insurance policy not only to cover the condo contents but liability protection if a tenant were to be injured somehow.
Just a few more thoughts as you ponder your purchase.
FUTURE HOME REALTY, INC.
Clearwater/Palm Harbor/New Port Richey
Realtor, GRI, CSSN
John Hall & Associates
As Daina already answered the HOA fee increases and speciall assessments can occur anytime. You should be aware that Top of the World in Clearwater is a land lease program. Since you are a cash buyer, the fees are monthly and they run around 320 a month plus property taxes. The monthly fees cover a lot of your basic services.
However, part of buying a condo is to get the CC&R's, financial statements, budget, by-laws, pending assessments, minutes, etc from the HOA company. Ask for these documents prior to removing contingencies. Call the management company yourself and do your investigation by asking the questions you need answers to. Typically your agent should be able to get the HOA company name and number from the listing agent.