When you buy a home in a community with a homeowners association, you have to be on the lookout for an expense called an assessment.
Here’s what you need to know.
What is an HOA Assessment?
An HOA assessment is a special fee that your homeowners association can demand that you pay. Usually, these types of payments are required after the HOA gets a big maintenance bill, such as when a pipe bursts or there’s a flood in an underground parking garage.
Usually, the HOA will dip into its reserve fund – the cash it sets aside from HOA dues every month – but when that’s depleted, the organization has to ask homeowners to pony up the dough.
The assessment is above and beyond your normal monthly or quarterly HOA fee.
The way an HOA divvies up the cost of major repairs through assessment is by spreading it out over all the homeowners in the community. For example, if a repair costs $20,000 but the reserve fund only has $18,000 in it, the HOA will spread the remaining $2,000 out between all the residents in the community. The fewer residents that live in your community, the higher your share will be.
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