3 Reasons You Should Attend Your Homeowners Association Meetings If You Buy A Condo
If you're thinking about buying a condo, it will probably be part of a homeowners association (HOA). If you purchase it, you will automatically become a member of this organization. As a member, you have the right to attend the HOA meetings, and you should make a habit of attending if possible. These meetings can occur monthly, quarterly, or yearly, and they are used to discuss a lot of important issues. Here are the three main reasons you should try to attend all of these meetings.
To Find Out The Financial State Of The Organization
One thing discussed at every HOA meeting is the budget, and attending the meetings will give you more insight about how the organization is managing its funds. The monthly fees you pay are used to pay for expenses relating to the community, and when you are at the meetings you can learn more about the actual expenses of the organization.
You will also be able to learn how the HOA controls and budgets for short-term and long-term expenses. Part of the money you pay into the organization will be used to pay for normal expenses, while the other part of the money should be placed in a reserve fund. Normal expenses include things like garbage pickup, snow removal, and lawn services.
The reserve fund is designed for long-term expenses needed for the homes in the community, such as roof replacements. The amount of money placed in an HOA reserve fund is usually around 25% to 35% of the monthly dues collected, but this varies. Every few years, the HOA should organize a reserve fund study to determine if they are putting away enough money to cover long-term expenses for the community.
If the HOA is not planning wisely for the future, you may end up with problems later on. One problem could be that the HOA might ask all homeowners for additional fees to pay for the major expenses needed in the community.
To Have A Say And Some Control In What Happens
Secondly, attending the meetings gives you an opportunity to voice your concerns and opinions. During HOA meetings, the board of directors (BOD) will often vote on things. This can include voting on upcoming repairs or contractors they plan on hiring. It can also involve voting on new policies the homeowners in the community must follow.
If you are not at the meetings, you will not be aware of these changes, issues, or decisions, and you will not get to state your opinion. While you may only be allowed one vote on each issue, this one vote can make a big difference. If you fail to attend and are unhappy with the decisions made, there is not a lot you can do.
It may also be important to encourage other homeowners in the community to also attend the meetings so they can voice their concerns too. This is especially important if the HOA is planning on voting on big decisions at the next scheduled meeting.
To Learn About Future Plans
Finally, attending the HOA meetings gives you the opportunity to learn about future plans. If, for example, the HOA is planning on adding a swimming pool or clubhouse to the community, you will get firsthand information about this. You will also learn about upcoming maintenance and repairs the HOA is planning on completing to the homes within the community.
You will also learn about future plans for raising the HOA fees the members must pay. In some cases, HOAs raise fees simply to cover large expenses they will need to pay for in the near future. If one of these large expenses seems unusual to you, you will have the chance to state this at the meeting.
Attending HOA meetings is not usually a requirement for members, but it is a good idea. This is the best way to stay informed and fight for what you want in your neighborhood. To learn more about this, make sure you look into the HOA that will be running the condo you are considering buying.