Re: HOA Fees
From: Fred-List manager (
Date: Sat, 8 Dec 2018 06:59:47 -0800 (PST)
Alan O'Hashi <adoecos [at]>
is the author of the message below.  It was posted by
Fred, the Cohousing-L list manager <fholson [at]>
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Susan - I agree with the others, there are lots of variables that
determine the HOA dues and any comparison of dollar amounts will be
misleading. I thing the biggest issue that communities push back
against is to what extent the reserve account is funded.

I don't have a problem with reserves and look at them as the
equivalent of a Health Savings Account (HSA) except to keep everyone's
homes healthy. It is a way to set money aside to pay for improvements
to the community and ultimately to the value of the house. It's not an
expense, it's an investment. I think the skirmishes around HOA dues is
more of a cultural one.

Where the community culture comes into play is what we experience at
my place. There are market-rate homes in excess of 2000 sq ft which
appreciate as the economy determines - in Boulder, that's huge. In the
mix are 800 sq ft permanently affordable homes that appreciate in very
small increments, over time.

As you might expect, those folks who have a big chunk of their assets
tied up in a house, have more of an incentive to protect their asset
and keep the community nice and fund the reserves at a higher
percentage because they, relatively, have a lot to lose if the roof
blows off and there isn't enough to pay for the replacement.

As one of the smaller homes owners with limited appreciation, I have
less incentive to jack up the reserve fund too high. So the community
values discussion should be around, what are members willing to give
up for the good of the entire community.

The current dues structure favors the large home owners. For example,
one of the 2000 sq ft households which is 2.5 times larger pays only
$150 more per month than an 800 sq ft household. As a result of the
formula, the small units subsidize the large units. It's similar to
the regressive income tax argument that there will be a "trickle down"
which doesn't happen.

Alan O. 

Alan O'Hashi - ECOS
EnviroCultural Organization Systems
Colorado 303-910-5782
Wyoming 307-274-1910
Nebraska 402-327-1652

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