Don't most HOA payments include roof maintenance/insurance? I've been told by some insurance companies they will not provide condo insurance unless y

Asked by Sully, Algoma, WI Sun Jul 28, 2013

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Tammy Hayes, Agent, Port Charlotte, FL
Tue Aug 6, 2013
There are several factors that need to be taken into consideration when purchasing a condo. One thing that might help to narrow down your choices is a list of must haves versus needs. The purchase of a condo is a big investment and you want to make sure that it will meet your requirements for living, lifestyle and purpose of use. Examples: Amenities such as pool, tennis, golf, exercise room, pet friendly, within budget, 55+ and close proximity to amenities such as beach, restaurants, shopping, medical facilities, highway, etc.

Then you need to determine your budget. You need to take into consideration the monthly fees, taxes, insurance, interior maintenance, utilities, etc. Create a budget that fits within your parameters and then weed out the condos that do not fit within your budget. Some condos include water/sewer/cable/trash and others do not.

Some condo developments have special assessments on top of the HOA fee. For example, if the units need a new roof and there isn’t enough money in reserves, then they will ask the owners to pay a special assessment for the roof, which could mean extra money for a certain number of years until it is paid off. This could happen in any condo community. There may also be a master homeowner association fee plus a condo fee. Some communities have other required fees such as golf, restaurant and even Community Development District (CDD) fees.

When looking at the taxes in the MLS, what a current owner is paying is not necessarily what you would pay. The current owner may be homestead and have an exemption and it will be reassessed once purchased. If you are not a resident of Florida, you cannot claim homestead.

Another thing I would suggest is contacting an insurance agent if you have not already done so. You can start with Island Insurance Agency, 941-764-8050. They represent several different agencies and can shop for rates. AAA is another company that represents several different agencies. The cost of insurance may help in deciding on a condo location as well.

The bylaws, covenants and rules and regulations are not always readily available beforehand, but you will need to read them before purchasing. You will also want to get a copy of the financial documents to see if they have a healthy reserve and are financially stable. Some communities have a web site where you can read the minutes of meetings, which generally gives you a good idea if there are any problems within the community. If not, you could do a Google search to see if you can find any history on the community or reviews by owners.

If you are considering renting it out, then you would need to see what the rental restrictions are. It is generally a good rule to avoid communities where more than 20% of residents are renters. Vacancy rate is another issue. If there are several units vacant or going into foreclosure, are there enough funds to cover owners who are not paying their share of the condo fees?

Here is the web site for Florida HOA members –

Be sure to thoroughly research all that you can before purchasing any condo.

Tammy Hayes, Realtor
RE/MAX Palm Realty, Port Charlotte, FL
0 votes
David Lang, Agent, Fort Myers, FL
Mon Jul 29, 2013
The confusion starts with the term "HOA". Most of the time when the topic of an owner's association's "fee" covering insurance or a roof, etc., they are thinking of a condo association fee, not a true Homeowner's Association fee. These terms are used, many times, interchangeably. A true homeowner's association could cover the cost of a variety of community (and commonly shared) expenses such as: recreational amenities, landscaping, pest control, water/sewer, and etc., but if the property is a single family dwelling it could not cover the cost of an individual homeowner's insurance or an individual owner's roof. These are commonly included costs associated with a property that is deeded as a part of a condominium. Also, to make it a bit more confusing, a condo does not have to be a multi-unit building, it could be an individual detached home.
The moral of the story is check with your Realtor, they will be able to tell the difference. Lastly, in the state of Florida, the buyer does have the right to be given a copy of all related association documents, and has three days (on a resale property) to review the documents and can cancel the contract within those three days if it is found to be unacceptable. This is whether or not it is a condo or an HOA.

David Lang
Keller Williams Elite Realty
0 votes
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Mon Jul 29, 2013
What is covered by the HOA payments is different for each HOA.
Some will cover the roof. Some rely on assessments. Some leave it the the individuat owner. What is covered is th result of the will of the property owners (the HOA board.)
The lower the HOA fee the more you are required to understand the HOA financials. That 'bargain' unit with a $78 monthly HOA may not be such a bargain over the course of ten years.
As a buyer, upon submitting a purchase offer, you are entitled to a copy of recent financialse, Rules and Regs, Q & A, and meeting minutes. Consult with your real estate professiona.
Or you can request my Buyer Guide which provides more details.

Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, FL
0 votes
Hi Annette, Thank you for your advice, the fees we are facing are actually $337 per month, we wish it was only $78.Of course the fees include a pool and tennis courts but no clubhouse. We thought for this high of fee the roof should be covered.
Flag Mon Jul 29, 2013
Charles Lupa…, Agent, Estero, FL
Sun Jul 28, 2013
The roof is usually covered in the reserves of the HOA. Must HOA will allocated 10% or so of your monthly payment into a reserve,
0 votes
Tanya Ess-Yo…, Agent, Marietta, GA
Sun Jul 28, 2013
Condos are generally not a part of HOA. You best bet would be to contact a member of the HOA that owns a condo as well.
0 votes
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