The fee runs at whatever the Board of Directors sets for it and also with recommendations by the Condo Management Association. It really isn't based totally on what common areas there are, etc. Remember the fees also cover general maintenance, exterior stuff, sometimes the roofs, roadways and more. Also there needs to be money put into the reserve account and you want an association with a strong reserve depending on what they are responsible for. You need to check with the HOA to see what the assoc fee covers. Some include water, sewer, trash. Condo/HOA fees are typically high in this area and especially in the condos buildings. But some are pretty reasonable. The high fees are what discourage some buyers, but remember, if you owned a home you would need to save money to budget for things that the HOA typically covers.
On average, for example, in Hawaii the average HOA is between $325 - $375 depends on the age of fhe project; in California, the average HOA is $250 - +$1,000 depends on the location of the project, and in Oregon, the average is $275 or less.
The purposes of a HOA payment are for general liability and fire hazard insurance for common areas, for maintenance of common areas, for utilities of common areas, for ameneties, etc.
Yes, there are condominiums and townhouse projects where there is no amenities, however, there's monthly HOA payment for other common area maintenance costs. Especially for newer projects where certain "energy/environmentally" friendly materials were used...then their maintenance costs may be higher than other projects build with less comparable materials.
You should review the CC&R once you have an accepted offer, the seller is required to disclose the full set of HOA documents for your review. In addition to HOA, ask about the current level of reserves - the lower the reserves - the higher likelihood of special assessments or a slower schedule of maintenance; the percentage of owner occupied (look for at least 60%); review the minutes for any pending litigation - which may results in special assessments, and ask about the HOA current level of HOA payment deliquencies - a higher the rate may results in less maintenance and/or the burden is passed onto current and "new" owners.
I hope the information helps.
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