I look at a couple things to determine how involved the HOA is:
- Overall fees - In general, higher fees means they are more active and could be more difficult to deal with.
- Review the HOA covenants and budget - During due diligence, make this a requirement for the seller to provide. You can then review in detail and reach out to the administrator for questions. Reviewing the budget will tell you about assessments, reserve funds, delinquencies, etc.
Be sure to look at how often they fine their members. That should be in the budget. HOAs that are fine happy or that depend on fines to stay solvent should be avoided at all costs!
I don't know all the rules but many HOA's are required to have audited financial statements (according to by-laws). Ask to see audited statements. If they will not provide to you ask the seller to obtain prior to purchase.
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