How very astute of you to realize that a 15 year old complex should have marketedly more money in their reserves than the $3000 currently in the bank. Further, you've also spotted that at $15 per unit per month contributions to the reserve allocation or a whopping total of $1440 per annum, the Association doesn't stand a chance of keeping up with the costs associated with an aging building.
Often I find that smaller homeowners associations tend to ignore the recommendations of specialists and employ a "pay as you go" attitude for repairs to the community--this in an attempt to keep the monthly dues lower. Thus, a roofing replacement, which is likely to take place in the next 5-10 years and will cost, say, $20,000, may need the contributions of all of the owners to make up the difference between the $20K roofing fee and the $10K in the reserves when the repairs are needed. Keep in mind that at 15 years of age, the community is next up for painting (done at least every 5-7 years), gutter replacement (every 20 years), wood trim and member replacement (every 20 years) and, if there are any decks or upper level patios, these usually also require replacement at the 20 year mark. I sincerely doubt that the $3000 in the reserves plus the $1440 annual contribution yearly over the next 5 years will be adequate to pay for these upcoming, and rather expensive, repairs.
So, even without looking at the financials or the reserve study, as a HOA manager, former accountant, budget expert and consultant, my suggestion would be to skip this one. Again, very brilliant of you to spot ths one!!
Grace Morioka, SRES
Area Pro Realty
HOA Consultant, Co-Author "Homeowners Associations: A Guide to Leadership and Participation"
A hoa is like a small business and it can be managed well or poorly. Just understand what you are walking into.
First Weber Group
Certified Distressed PRoperty Exxpert
If the reserve balance is only $3000 at this time you may want to inquire as to where the money has been spent recently.