As part of your due diligence period after acceptance of your contingent offer the seller is required to get copies of the HOA annual operating budget, along with minutes of recent meetings, copies of rules and bylaws, disclosure of any litigation by or against the HOA, and several other items. Your offer should include a contingency clause that you receive and approve of these documents within a short time after the acceptance of your offer. Sometimes these documents may be available to you even before your offer is formally accepted. It doesn't hurt to ask. Because there may be an expense involved in getting these disclosures to you, The seller and the agent will want to perceive that you are a serious buyer. Depending on the HOA these fees may include building insurance and maintenance, snow removal, landscaping, garbage removal, reserve accounts for future big ticket maintenance items such as roof, siding, parking lot. accounting fees, consulting fees, office supplies. There may be community areas, billiards, ping pong,and exercise equipment, tennis courts, swimming pools. If excessively high - the dues may also be paying for some past, ongoing or future litigation, maintenance above originally projected or even mismanagement. Some HOA's have been victimized by fraudulent contractors and have wound up paying for repairs twice. If HOA dues are particularly highcompared to other condo associations with the same level of amenities and services then you should be able to negotiate an appropriate discount from the purchase price to compensate for the higher future monthly costs.
My theoretical example would be: Condo A has $300 per month dues and Condo B has $200 per month dues. In all other respects the condos are equally desirable. You discover that the reason for the higher dues is that condo A just repaved the parking lot, but did not have a reserve to pay for it.. The HOA borrowed the money and is now paying it back with 2 ears left on the loan. Condo B HOA also has repaved their parking lot, but paid for it out of reserves built up over previous years.
Because you will be paying the extra $100 per month for two years you should be able to buy the equally desirably condo A for about $2400 less than you could buy condo B.