“Why does this HOA payment feel like someone is out to get me?”
Well, HOA payments aren’t meant to “get” anybody.
In fact, the whole reason for HOA payments is for the beautification and maintenance of the respective property. Everyone pays into an account called the reserve. The reserve account is meant to be used to pay for anything from general maintenance to upgrades or big projects like a common area remodel.
In a perfect world, the association will be run in such a way that the HOA dues create a reserve fund sufficient to cover the costs of maintaining the property and the necessary upgrades.
Since it isn’t a perfect world, the costs of building maintenance sometimes exceed the amount in the reserve account. When this happens, a special assessment is levied against each homeowner in the association for them to split the cost(s) of the project.
Remember that even in associations that are run flawlessly, a special assessment may still occur. This could be due to an emergency expense, or some other uncommon issue.
While the goal is to mitigate risk when searching for your home, it is helpful to remember that there is no risk-free solution, so make sure when you buy a condo, you factor in unforeseen costs in your budget.
This helps avoid surprises!