How New Home Buyers in Flagstaff Can Assess the Quality of an HOA

With a majority of Arizona communities being run by an HOA, you need to take this into consideration when purchasing a home. It’s important to purchase a home in a community that has a well-run HOA. Otherwise, you may be in for expensive assessments and frustrations with overly-restrictive CC&Rs. One tip when house hunting is to look for communities that use Flagstaff HOA property management services. An HOA that uses an outside management service is typically better organized, has a reserve fund in place, well maintained common areas, and happy community owners.

Here are several other factors to consider in determining the quality of the Arizona HOA in the community you plan to purchase a home in.

How Well is the Property Maintained?

A community that has a good HOA will be well-maintained. You won’t see neglected landscaping, peeling paint buildings, or dilapidated common areas. HOA fees might be lower in communities with run down common areas, but it is at the expense of normal maintenance, which is not recommended and poor for property values.

Does the HOA have a Reserve Fund?

HOAs have to disclose their reserve funding, so it’s important to ask for them and read them. Not having a reserve fund can be a sign of problems. This may be because the HOA is trying to save residents money by not raising fees, but in the event of something major, not having a reserve fund could result in a hefty special assessment for homeowners or the community needing to take out a loan.

Review Board Meeting Minutes

HOA boards are required to meet regularly, and by law, they should be taking meeting minutes. See what information you can obtain from these prior meetings and whether they are organized. These can often provide great insight into any issues and management disputes taking place.

How is the Communication to Members?

How well does the HOA communicate with its members?  Regular communication with members is a critical component of a good HOA. If members are not receiving updates or are unhappy with the current board of directors, it is not likely that it’s going to get better if you purchase a home there. Look for communication updates in a variety of places. Is there a bulletin board? Do they send out regular emails or newsletters? How often is the HOA website updated?

HOA Management

HOAs that try to save money by handling management internally or hiring an inexperienced service can take a toll on the board of directors and the community. HOA management is one area that needs to be taken seriously, as it affects all aspects of the community and can be vital in its success.

Is There Insurance?

Review the summary of insurance and verify what risks are covered. Even though they are not necessarily common, is there weather-related insurance like flood insurance, for example? In the event of one, not having that coverage could mean the HOA goes insolvent and is unable to rebuild. Ensuring the community has ample insurance coverage is key when reviewing a community to purchase in.

Searching for the Right Community in Flagstaff

It’s hard enough searching for the perfect house, but ensuring the HOA is well-run can create additional stress for many new homebuyers. If you have questions about HOA management or you are looking for a new service for your community, contact City Property Management Company at 602-437-4777.

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