Considering Moving to an Association Maintained Community?
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When it comes to paying monthly association assessments or dues, do not assume cheaper is better. If you are shopping for a home in an association maintained living community, Kris Kilgard advises comparing apples to apples.
“You get what you pay for,” in terms of maintenance, amenities and community programs, he says. “Every association is built differently.”
That makes it difficult if not impossible to compare assessment amounts at face value, so get a list of what the association includes and consider both neighborhood real estate values and amenities.
It’s also smart to give an association’s financial statement a thorough read prior to purchase, to ensure that the association has adequate reserve funds to cover upcoming capital improvements. Deborah Ho-Beckstrom says the question to ask is “Will the association care for my investment properly?”
“You want to look beyond the one unit that you’re buying; look at the community overall,” she says.
Jason Budzynski suggests asking if homes in the community may be customized to buyers’ preferences. He also advises looking at who is moving into a community; some association maintained communities are designed to cater to empty nesters, others to young families.
Kilgard also suggests interviewing a couple potential future neighbors to find out how promptly the association makes repairs. And, he adds, while it’s important to do research and be an informed buyer, don’t let that cause you worry.
“Odds are, all the association companies are good and are running the association lean and mean but still being conservative on the reserve side,” Kilgard says. “Your odds are pretty good that you’re going to get into an association that is run appropriately, and efficiently and professionally.”