As Grace stated there are variables. I've seen HOA dues as low as $200 and up to $400. If your dues are on the upper end and you do not have pool, hot tub, tennis court, and the HOA doesn't cover a lot for insurance and exterior then, yes, it is high. It may be high because the exterior is wood and the building is older and therefore more maintenance is needed. Are they maintaining your building and the grounds?
If you are not involved in your HOA meetings, I suggest you do, this is a great way to become part of a solution and to gain knowledge on how solid is your HOA.
Have an amazing day!
Thanks for your email. First, finding out how much everyone is paying is not an accurate gauge of whether or not the fees are--as Goldilocks would put it--too high, too low or "just right."
The amount of the monthly assessments is heavily affected by the following, and all are and can be highly unique to each association:
1. The age of the HOA
2. The previous expense or savings of the HOA
3. The actions or inactions of the Board regarding service and maintenance
4. The configuration and building components
5. The size of the HOA
6. The effectiveness of the Association Manager
Because these six issues can negatively and positively affect the HOA, the swing within the monthly assessments can be quite drastic. For example, my colleague has been managing an association for the past 7 years, and their HOA's assessments have stayed the same for past three years, is one of the lowest monthly dues in the surrounding area, and the HOA has over $600K in the bank and is 110% funded on their reserves.
Why? Because the HOA's Board is proactive regarding repairs. The size of the complex is fairly large (90 plus units) and the age of the community is fairly young 20 years. Also, the HOA has never misused its funds in the past, and has practiced a sensible plan of savings for the community. Also, to be fair, my colleague, Christine, is the "penny pinching-est" person I've ever met when it comes to communities, and she will squeeze that budget as hard as she can to make that money really work for her members. I've seen her take practically bankrupt communities, and they end up with $50,000 in the bank after six months, so she is extraordinarily conscientious as well as a good manager, and that is what I mean by item 6 above--the effectiveness of your manager.
So, if you feel your budget may be out of whack, perhaps you need to take it to another management company to take a good look. Perhaps there are things that can be done to make the community more efficient (notice, I did not say "less monthly dues") and to keep costs low so that increases are moderate or not necessary in the future.
If you want, I would suggest giving my colleague, Christine, a call. She's a very sharp association manager and can pick out areas where things can be better managed with just a few minutes. You can reach Christine at CommuniTAS at (408) 261-7155.
At your service,
Certified Distressed Property Expert