How can I find out what the home owners association fees are for a home I am interested in buying?

Asked by Kelli, Lincoln, NE Wed Mar 26, 2008

This is a short sale and I also need to know if the owner is current on the dues...

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Peter Curtis, Agent, Roseville, CA
Sun May 10, 2009
I often call the property management company and ask about that unit, because sometimes the units have different prices based on square feet and the hoa does not always know.
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Jim Walker, Agent, Carmichael, CA
Wed Mar 26, 2008
The MLS data sheet has a data fields to describe the amount of the HOA dues and the period I/e/ monthly quarterly or yearly. If the property is listed the MLS data sheet is supposed to have that information.

After it has been listed the seller signs a homeowner association questionnaire to the HOA management company. On the questionnaire the HOA management company is asked your question along with a dozen other questions regarding parking, storage, age restrictions, special assessments, insurance coverage, rules, etc etc. The questionnaire also requests copies of the by-laws, budget, rules, articles of incorporation, copies of the minutes, etc etc.

If the listing is new when you make your offer the HOA may not have returned the questionnaire yet. Your buyers agent will be sure to request one.
Usually the HOA management will charge a small fee to cover the clerical expense of providing the documents and making copies. When you are dealing with a short seller or a bank, the HOA doc fee will probably be an upfront buyer paid expense.
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Melody Cahill, Agent, Olympia, WA
Wed Mar 26, 2008
A quick call to your local title insurance company should answer the first question regarding association fees, and the presence of a homeowners association. A preliminary title commitment will reveal if there are liens. If the property is presently listed in a Multiple Listing Service, the Listing Agent may have already opened up that pre-lim, and may have the answer regarding past liens which are recorded. But prior to closing Title & Escrow typically require a written statement - or payoff - from a Homeowners Assn regarding current status of the dues. Your Buyer's Agent can include contract language which states the mortgage holder is to be responsible to pay any outstanding dues at closing. I am writing from the West Coast - Title can be handled differently on the E. Coast and Mid-West. Your real estate professional can advise you best! Kind regards, Melody
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