Profile picture for corprime

Hi, I am looking at buying a condo. Is there any risk that i will get stuck paying any past HOA dues

There are a lot of bank owned condos in my area, but I was thinking if the last home owner was not paying their mortgage, then I doubt they were paying the HOA dues either. So if I am the buyer do I get stuck paying the past HOA dues? Or will the bank pay them?
Thanks
  • October 02 2012 - Everett
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Answers (6)

Mack is correct look out for special assessments.  Not only the assessments that are current but ones that are as Mack says around the corner which you will inherit as the new home owner.These can be big ticket items such as new siding and/or new roofs.  Not all condominium management companies are equal.  Make sure you and your Real Estate agent do their homework.  If you are looking on the Connecticut Shoreline I have sold several in different communities.  I am happy to help.  Call me at 203-530-7363. 

Best of Luck, Heather
  • October 02 2012
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Unpaid HOA dues do not show up on title, as they do not require a recorded lien; Washington state - I think every state, really - gives HOAs a statutory priority lien for six months, so the most you can be on the hook for is six months.

Of course, you can be walking into a situation where special assessments are right around the corner . . . 

All the best,
  • October 02 2012
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Profile picture for CarlsbadHomes
Depends on the bank. Some banks are not paying the past HOA dues and forcing the new buyer to bring money to escrow to cover the back costs. When escrow closes - you start a zero with the HOA. Yes - before you remove your contingencies - check the health of the HOA. Reserve studies and future repairs can be costly. A quality agent will be able to suggest what you need to investigate.
  • October 02 2012
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Thanks for posting your question on Zillow.com!

The title company is responsible for liens on the property as well as handling the HOA responsibilities.  You will not be responsible for any past liens of any sort as you are guaranteed clean title.

As long as you are using a settlement company, you are in good hands.

Best of luck!
  • October 02 2012
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In general, these will all be paid (even if past due) out of the proceeds at closing (i.e. the bank will pay them if it's a bank-owned unit). If it's a short sale, sometimes there can be lien-able items (like water) that will need to be brought current in order to close (or do inspections, etc.)...and sometimes as a buyer, you get the privilege of paying those if the seller refuses. 

However, HOA dues are not the thing I would be worried about transferring. It's the special assessments (current or potential) within a complex that really need to be researched in advance. Even if there are no current assessments against a unit, there can often be ones coming down the road (for new roofs, windows, etc.)...that you need to look out for...and is the reason many condo owners walk away from their properties. I've seen as little as a few hundred dollars being assessed to $100,000 (per UNIT!). So, it really is important to work with someone who understands condominiums. If you ask an agent about Re-Sale Certificates and Reserve Studies and they have no idea what you're talking about, you'll probably want to search for another agent to assist in your condo purchase.

Best of luck!
Ryan Halset | Realtor | ABR
Boardwalk Real Estate | Seattle, WA
  • October 02 2012
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Profile picture for Ofe Polack
You will be wise working with a buyer agent who can check those things for you.
  • October 02 2012
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