Verifying Bonita Springs Homeowner Association Fees
Periodically, I get an email with a great question I end up writing a reply to that should be on my website for future Googlers. Today’s real estate question: Is there a web site we can go to, to get HOA (home owner association) fees and what they cover? It’s important information in the Bonita Springs/Estero Florida area because we are 75%+ gated and deed restricted. You need to protect yourself and your Bonita Springs real estate investment going in.
The short answer to is no, there is no website. The long answer is that the listing agent is supposed to have those fees assembled onto a “Home Owner Association Disclosure” that is given to a potential buyer or even hosted on the MLS so that if a buyer is presenting an offer on a home or condo, the HOA disclosure (and other necessary disclosures) can accompany the offer. That doesn’t always happen.
Frankly, at the time of this blog post we are entering a “low skill” market where real estate sells farily easily so laddy-datty-and-every-body is getting a real estate license and they just “don’t do it well”. So, to verify homeowner association fees or even condo fees there are a few things a real estate buyer or their buyer’s agent can do to verify fees.
1. Call the listing agent and ask for a budget. The budget lists the expenses of the HOA plus the fees collected from home owners.
2. Contact the professional HOA management company and speak with the representative who handles that particular community. Ask them what the HOA fees are to verify and then ask them what it covers; landscape, irrigation water, reserves, etc.
3. If you don’t know who the management company is for a homeowners association or a condo association visit the community clubhouse or pool area, it is often posted publicly. It is also listed at Sunbiz.org, along with board members who you may also be able to contact.
A few things to remember about HOA and Condo purchases. Florida real estate law dictates that the HOA disclosure is mandatory but I have personally run into many listing agents do not treat it that way.
Disclosure Summary for Mandatory Associations: IF THE DISCLOSURE SUMMARY REQUIRED BY SECTION 720.401, FLORIDA STATUTES, HAS NOT BEEN PROVIDED TO THE PROSPECTIVE PURCHASER BEFORE EXECUTING THIS CONTRACT FOR SALE, THIS CONTRACT IS VOIDABLE BY BUYER BY DELIVERING TO SELLER OR SELLER'S AGENT OR REPRESENTATIVE WRITTEN NOTICE OF THE BUYER'S INTENTION TO CANCEL WITHIN 3 DAYS AFTER RECEIPT OF THE DISCLOSURE SUMMARY OR PRIOR TO CLOSING, WHICHEVER OCCURS FIRST. ANY PURPORTED WAIVER OF THIS VOIDABILITY RIGHT HAS NO EFFECT. BUYER'S RIGHT TO VOID THIS CONTRACT SHALL TERMINATE AT CLOSING.
Florida real estate law also provides that purchaser of a condominium has three days to review the condominium association budget, rules and regulations, articles of incorporation, FAQ’s and such. The rules for condos are important because there could be important use restrictions such as limited or no rentals, pet restrictions, no RV or truck parking. Again, if you have pointed questions about the condo association rules contact the management company and ask the representative directly to verify.
Should you have any questions about buying a home in an HOA or Condo association, call or text Chris at 239-273-7430.