If you’re buying a condo or home as part of a Home Owners Association (HOA), you need to review and approve or disapprove the documents. These documents generally include the Declarations and Bylaws, the Rules and Regulations, the current year budget, the meeting minutes, and the 22.1 disclosure. If you’re buying a single family home not in HOA or a multi-unit building, this step won’t apply to you.
The reason you need to review these documents is that when you buy a condo or community with HOA, you’re not just buying your particular unit or house, but you’re also buying into the building or community. You need to figure out if the community is stable and healthy financially speaking or if there could be potential problems, either with big upcoming maintenance issues or delinquent owners who aren’t paying their HOA fees, etc. It’s also important to learn about the HOA's rules such as:
1. Are there pet restrictions (number of pets, breeds, weights, etc.)?
2. Can you move in any day/time or are there restrictions on when you’re allowed to move in?
3. Are there are move in fees or procedures such as needing to reserve an elevator?
4. Can you lease your unit and, if so, for how long?
5. Is more than 50% of the building renters? If so, there is a good chance your mortgage lender won’t approve the loan as a building with too many renters is a risky investment
6. Can I paint my front door any color I want?
7. Can I park a boat in my driveway or parking space?
For all of the above reasons, we strongly urge you to read each document thoroughly. Write down any questions or issues you’d like to know more about as we can ask for clarification or further documentation. Pay particular attention to the meeting minutes as this is often where you’ll learn what’s really going on in the building and any future plans for big ticket repairs.
Remember time is of the essence, therefore you have to reply within the contracts time limit. After you’ve read the docs, email me any questions you have and whether you feel comfortable going forward, want to cancel the contract or would like additional information.
Questions? Call me at 410-980-5732 or email me at email@example.com.