When you are buying a house, usually, the only thing a home buyer receives in information about a Home Owners Association or HOA is the monthly fee. What you really need to know is what that fee actually pays for and what, if any, problems the HOA is currently or prospectively dealing with.
How do you get this information? Don't rely on your realtor, do a little leg work yourself and contact the HOA president or anyone on the HOA board. Ask them the following questions:
1. Are there currently any major expenditures that the Board is considering?
2. Does the Board anticipate any major expenditures in the next three years?
3. Will the Board consider an increase in HOA fees in the next year?
4. What was the last HOA fee increase and when?