Re: HOA Dues Increase
From: Janet Murphy (
Date: Fri, 5 Jul 2019 20:40:11 -0700 (PDT)
What a thorough discussion of HOA fees!
The only thing I haven't seen mentioned is that it is equally important not
to over-collect or under-collect condo fees. Going 11 years without a fee
increase either points to over-collection, or an under-funded reserve.
Over-collection is unfair to folks who move out, and under-funding is
unfair to buyers. Better to fund each year as they come.
We at Arboretum Cohousing have had a reserve study done twice in 10 years,
and fully fund that. The study is pricey, but money well spent as we never
argue about big ticket items, we have an idea what items should cost, and
it helps us know what belongs in the operating budget and what belongs in
the reserves. Over 40% of our condo fees goes to the reserve fund each year.
In the fall we go line by line through the rest of the budget and do our
best to predict what we need. After 10 years we've gotten good at it.
Repairs and utility bills are the hardest to predict as they can swing
wildly every year.
If we are in the black at the end of the year, we apply those funds to the
next year's budget, reducing fees. If we are in the red, fees go up more
than just our standard inflation.  This keeps our "checking account"
balance from rising or falling too much over time (i.e. under- or
over-collection). We keep the lowest balance above $5000 so we don't risk
being overdrawn.
Janet Murphy
Arboretum Cohousing (40 units)
Madison WI

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