Are you thinking of purchasing a property in Hawaii?
Condos can make for a great low-maintenance lifestyle, vacation home, or investment property. If you consider a condo off resort properties, Waikoloa Village might be the place to be with nice ocean, mountain, and golf course views. After the purchase of your condo in the Village, you will have to pay monthly homeowners association (HOA) and the $584 yearly Waikoloa Village Association fees (see my recent blog post, Waikoloa Village Homeowners 2011 Dues Are Due).
One thing that is important to understand before you make your purchase is the financial responsibilities associated with owning your Hawaii property. While every condo complex is different, from Waikoloa Fairways to Makana Kai at Wehilani, letâ€™s take a look at what condo HOA fees usually include, so you have a better idea of what to expect when you make â€œyour moveâ€ to Hawaii.
What should you know about HOA fees?
To begin with, it is important to understand what HOA fees are in the first place. A homeownerâ€™s association is a group of local residents that work together to plan neighborhood functions, amenities (i.e. swimming pool, tennis court), and communal space (barbecue or exercise area) upkeep, and amend and enforce the rules in an effort to maintain the values of all condos in the building.Â The condo owners are required to pay a portion of the expenses associated with these actions in a monthly, quarterly, or yearly fee. HOA dues depend on a lot of factors, including the size of your condo, the location, and amenities.
When you own a condo you own the space within the walls of your unit. This means that the beautiful tropical Hawaiian landscaping, the swimming pool, the barbecue area, and the exterior of the building is common space that must be kept for everyone. Most of HOA dues include water, trash collection, maintenance, and landscaping. You will be on your own for the electricity,Â the phone, TV, etc.
For instance, if you buy a 2 bedroom condo at the Pointe at Waikoloa the maintenance fees are $605/month. Fees are high, but you will enjoy the pool, hot tub, exercise room, and entertainment pavilion with barbecue. If you buy a 2 bedroom unit at the Elima Lani Condominiums the maintenance fees would be lower, around $370/month, and include the maintenance of the 2 pools at each side of the complex.
Master Insurance Policy
Most condo owners are responsible for insuring their personal property and maintaining the space inside the condo, but the HOA fee will cover a master insurance policy for the building. This will include coverage for hurricane and/or earthquake damage, leaking roofs, and liability around the property.
Reserve Funds and Special Assessments
Most HOA dues include a portion to go into a reserve. It is important to know if these reserve funds of your condo association are in good shape. It is like a savings account and itâ€™s meant to be tapped for non-recurring expenses.Â Avoid buying a condo in a complex with very little in its reserves. When you are in the market for a condo and building that has been in existence for a few years (i.e. Paniolo Club built in the 80â€™s) you need to ask about special assessments that may be coming in the future. The last thing you want to do is buy a condo and find out that a special assessment of several thousands dollars is due.
If youâ€™re looking at buying a condo, keep me in mind to get HOA-related tips. I live and work in Waikoloa Village. I can help you with your research so that you know exactly what is covered in the specific condo HOA fees for that Waikoloa building.