Profile picture for jerryosea

HOA dues for Seattle Condos

Does there exist any compilation of information showing HOA dues and what services/utilities are included in such dues for Seattle area condos? I am trying to get a general sense of HOA/square foot in various buildings. I recognize that different buildings have different amenities and services which makes apples to apples virtually impossible. Just trying to get a sense of what homeowners really are spending (vs what I presume are optimistically low calculations for new projects). Thanks
  • October 28 2009 - Seattle
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Answers (5)

Good point about the new construction.  I've seen HOA dues go from $250 up to $400 in just two years on a building.  They hadn't funded the reserve adequately, and a couple of snowstorms hit the funds fairly hard. 

More established buildings will give you a better picture of future dues, but also carry higher building maintenance costs in some cases.
  • October 28 2009
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Profile picture for nwhome.us
I ran into this question in 2007 at 2200 Westlake.  Though the property management company had estimated the dues requirement, the developer essentially decided to ignore the opinion and set artificially low dues for the presale.
Within the first year of the Association meetings, while the developer still held some ownership, the HOA was convinced that the dues needed to be raised about 10%.  Nasty piece of work.  I was representing a resale and was allowed to attend the meetings.  The property management company showed up with a spreadsheet of properties that they managed in the core with $/SF infilled for HOD.  I'd have to dig it up but that was prior to recent legislation on reserve accounts so it is out of date.  I think Barry's list of inclusions is pretty standard stuff.
I also agree with you, and Barry, that varying levels of amenities make this exercise challanging.  What you might do is find a similar building (or 2 or 3) to your subject, track down a listing agent in the building(s) and find out the HOD for each them and calculate the $/SF.  I'd look for buildings that have transfered to the HOA (not much developer ownership) and have had some time for the HOA to do their own reserve analysis.
If you are attempting to do this for a smaller association (<10 units) or an owner-managed complex, forget it.  The variables are far too great.
Hope this is in the right direction..
 
  • October 28 2009
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That's a great question.  HOA dues are so individual to the property, Our HOA dues are the same for each owner, whether a 1200 sq ft townhome to a 1800 sq ft townhome and it covers exterior paint, up keep on fencing, lawn care, grounds manintenance of playground and basketball court.

I would just encourage you to have your agent get you the HOA information prior to submitting a P/S agreement.

  • October 28 2009
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Great question, Jerry, and I wish I had a simple answer for you.  There are significant variations, even with the same amenities.  I've seen a 1200 sq ft condos with dues of $450/mo and others with dues of $250/mo.  They had the same amenities - garbage/water/sewer included.  I guess this gives a wide range for you to start with.

HOA dues vary based on so many factors - age of the building, current reserve levels, management companies, size of complex, etc.  You'd be amazed at what different levels of quality are available with the same maintenance costs.
  • October 28 2009
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Profile picture for barrybergner
That is a complicated question. Every condo association has its own circumstance. In general most condo HOD's cover water/sewer/garbage/master insurance policy/management fees (if professionally managed) and maintenance of common areas. As you noted there can be a wide variation in the common area/ammenities. The balance of the dues go into a reserve account for future predictable maintenance requirements. Condo complexes are now required to have reserve studies for the HOA. I have sat in on presentations by companies that do reserve studies and the reality is that most condo reserves are underfunded. In situations like those dues can be raised in an attempt to build up the reserve accounts in efforts to avoid special assessments (payments for HOA needs when the reserve account is insufficient). When you purchase a condo you will have the opportunity to see all of this information (Resale Certificate) and then a time period to evaluate it and terminate your contract if you are not satisfied with the information you see.
I'm not sure your motive for asking the question but I would caution you to not draw too many conclusions based solely on the amount of monthly dues. 
  • October 28 2009
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