Friday, January 4, 2013

HOA Surprise!

A couple months ago I represented and wrote a contract for a buyer who was paying in cash, waived all rights to inspections, and was willing to do whatever it took to ensure a speedy closing.  Talk about a slam dunk!  Not so fast...

As we raced to the finish line, two days before closing I received and reviewed the HUD (settlement) statement and noticed a charge to the buyer of $2,000 labeled HOA capital contribution.  This was in addition to the regular transfer fees and dues.  In fact, it worked out to about two years worth of dues!

After consulting with an attorney on the matter, it turns out that this fee is a legitimate fee that HOA's are allowed to charge, and they can charge as much as they want!.  In fact, the fee is as high as $4,000 in Stoneybrook West in Winter Garden.  I can't imagine someone closing on a $200,000 house and finding out two days before closing that they need to bring an extra 4k to the table!

HOA's are in trouble due to all the foreclosures going into arrears on their HOA dues.  Since they can't recover this money from the delinquent homeowners they are now starting to charge buyers!

It is the sellers duty to inform the buyer of the capital contribution fee.  In Florida there is an HOA disclosure in which the seller is obligated to disclose any such fees to the buyer.  However, often the seller is not aware of this particular fee because they don't have to pay it, and therefore they do not disclose it.  Since the concept is relatively new and very recently the existing fees have skyrocketed, most of the general public, as well as Realtors in this area, are unaware of this potential pitfall.

Lesson:  If you are selling a home with an HOA, call the management company or have your agent call and ask about any such fees that must be paid by the buyer.  Likewise, if you are purchasing a home with an HOA, ask your agent to do the same and don't rely on the accuracy of the numbers given by the sellers.

No comments:

Post a Comment