Its been a couple of weeks since I professed my love for my listing over at The Brickworks. If you’ll recall, I touted its perfect location (right on the BeltLine, in the heart of Inman Park), size, condition and price. What I may have skimped on just a tad was information about the homeowner association (HOA).
If you’re a home buyer in 2012 and you’re considering a condominium or townhome development, the health of a homeowner association is an absolutely critical component to your decision-making process. When you’re buying in a condominium community, you’re buying more than four walls. You might also be buying the shared cost and responsibility of a pool, workout room, private road, landscaping, liability insurance, termite issues, water bills, security, roof, delinquint fellow homeowners and more. Did you read about the HOA down in College Park that didn’t pay their water bill? College Park shut down their water service. There were four transactions in that building in 2011. I wonder if those folks ever looked over the association’s budget or meeting minutes. If they had, they would have saved themselves some serious grief, not to mention a chunk of change.
So perhaps I’m referring to a pretty radical example of association neglect, but I believe that it’s a fairly salient point that no homebuyer should overlook. Looking over The Brickworks HOA information, I was really impressed with what I read. Not only did the association provide a detailed budget, but they noted sizable funds in both their operating and reserve accounts. Collections are strong (unlike certain associations that have been devastated by foreclosures), long-range planning projects are underway, and good governance seems to be evident in every nook and cranny that I’ve inspected.
Whether you’re thinking about purchasing my listing in The Brickworks – a smart decision in my mind – or a condo elsewhere, do make sure that you’re looking at association issues carefully. Nothing worse than moving in and finding out that the water is being shut off…