|HOA dues levels||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Raines Cohen (rc2-coho-Lraines.com)|
|Date: Wed, 13 Nov 2002 07:36:05 -0700 (MST)|
On 11/12/02 8:54 PM, Terri Hupfer at Pleasant Hill (CA) coho wrote (off the list): >Here in Pleasant Hill we are into our first year of deciding whehter or >not to raise HOA assessments. I noticed a few days back when you posted >the notice of your unit for sale, you included the HOA assesment. Would >you mind giving me the range for your units? Terri - 1. It's not my unit for sale, it's my neighbors'. I just have a small studio loft, they've got a big 2BR. 2. Dues here at Swan's Market Cohousing (Oakland, CA) range from $300-350 per unit per month; most costs are per unit, with a small component per square foot. However, that includes gas, heat, water, and hot water, and everything beyond the paint on the inside walls of our units (including a roof shared with the commercial tenants in the rest of our building owned by a nonprofit developer), in addition to CH utilities, insurance, and operations, and we're still spending on capital improvements like building out our guestroom. And we have only 20 units over which to split the basic "fixed cost"; Pleasant Hill coho is a much bigger community, albeit with additional expenses like lawn and pool maintenance (it looks unlikely that our hot tub plans will make it into this year's budget). [ Berkeley coho apparently has slightly lower dues, but only 14 units, with a different budget structure / allocation] What are initial dues like there at PH coho? I imagine that the initial level was set by your developer's condo consultant, who might even be the same as ours. We ended up reducing HOA dues slightly the first year after move-in, and not changing much since then; they may go up some this year because insurance costs have skyrocketed since 9/11/01, and we're just now seeing the full effect of that. However, updating our reserve study, now that it's been a few years and we've been fully funding at the initial levels, may result in some savings. The real questions you might want to evaluate: - How's your HOA doing relative to budget for this year? If you carry over a surplus, that can reduce the amount of income you need from dues. We did this our second year, "coasting" on savings from the first year. - What %age of your members' housing costs are going to HOA dues vs. mortgage principal/interest? - What %age of your members' income is going to housing costs? - What is the consensus on how much the HOA wants to do this year? What dues levels would it take to acheive the top priorities / group goals? - Are there particular members that would be adversely impacted by dues increases or who would especially benefit from a reduction? - Is there anything that could or should be funded by means other than dues - there are all kinds of methods, from voluntary assessments to user fees (don't forget to factor in the high tax rate for 'unrelated business income') to reserve loans to member loans to outside financing. And also make sure every project/team not only has a budget but also realistic quotes and has evaluated "do-it-yourself" alternatives... and that the group has clear priorities for how much it really wants to and CAN do each year. - What effect will rates have on resale values? Too high and it means that fewer buyers can afford a given purchase price; too low and you can't fully fund reserves and banks get twitchy about financing. You're still pretty new living in community there --less than a year, so I wouldn't tinker too much yet, unless you've already discovered operational costs much higher or lower than expected or found significant errors in your reserve study. One membership we have beyond TCN is the Executive Council of Homeowner's Associations, or ECHO <http://www.echo-ca.org/> - it's a professional organization for HOAs in California (yes, it's an association of associations!). ECHO publishes a magazine and offers publications, seminars and conferences, some of which are relevant to coho groups (although many are for much larger condo associations without all the great consensus and similar tools that we have). We found some advice there on new laws regulating HOAs and best practices regarding budgeting, dues, notice, etc. Raines Raines Cohen <my initials,2,dash,coho,dash,L at my first name .com> Member, Swan's Market Coho [Oakland, CA] <http://www.swansway.com/> As of today with a City Car Share pod with a station wagon parked right outside our window! <http://www.citycarshare.org/> Facilitator, East Bay Cohousing [on hiatus] <http://www.ebcoho.org/> Where the website really will get updated soon -- we promise. Boardmember, The Cohousing Network <http://www.cohousing.org/> Advising members to keep an eye on their mailboxes for a letter from Executive Director Roy O'Shaughnessy. _______________________________________________ Cohousing-L mailing list Cohousing-L [at] cohousing.org Unsubscribe and other info: http://www.communityforum.net/mailman/listinfo/cohousing-l
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