I had a very interesting conversation with a potential buyer this past week, regarding those pesky, monthly HOA dues. Up here in the Rocky Mountains, and at a ski resort to boot, a Resort Condominiums complex’s dues are, well, complex!
Basic services, such as trash removal, snow removal, water/sanitation district bills, internet and cable tv are easy to figure out. They are fairly standard from one building to the next and while the complex is subject to rate increases from those vendors, they are easy to manage and easy to quantify.
Here in the Winter Park area, we have complexes that were built in the 1960’s all the way through to today. The Resort Condominiums built in the 1970’s and 1980’s, of which there are many, were usually built with electric baseboard heat. This makes it easy to the HOA, because the condos are metered separately so the homeowner just pays that bill outside of their dues. But then we have a few buildings built with just one electric meter so the HOA and their property manager must pay that bill in full and then bill back to the homeowners through the dues. The same happens for some of the older complexes and especially the new complexes that have natural gas hot water heat, which is provided through one central hot water heater. Again, the HOA pays the bill in full and then bills out separately for reimbursement.
These monthly assessments are billed based on square footage typically. It’s the fairest way to bill varying sizes of condominiums. Basing that billing on the number of bedrooms or bathrooms just doesn’t come out to be fair and equitable. So you’ll see a one bedroom condominium that has gas hot water heat included in the dues of $305 month and a two bedroom unit at another complex that does not have heat included in the dues show their amount as $345 per month.
You will also see some disparity of the same size units, in the same complex because the capital reserves may be different for one building over another. It truly depends on how the Bylaws were written for the association but several complexes separate out the capital improvement projects by building, some split them out by filings.
This is my long-winded way of letting you, as a potential buyer, know that there are many factors that go into the pricing of Resort Condominiums and into the setting of the monthly dues for the HOA. It is my job as a Realtor to make sure any buyers make an informed decision when it comes to purchasing resort property in the Rocky Mountains.