So now you’re stuck with a special assessment from your Home Owners Association. Are you wondering how this is possible and if you actually are liable to pay it?
By Gary M. Singer
Sept. 3, 2018 – Question: Our association is specially assessing all of the owners several extra payments to fund a refinance of a loan we took out for the clubhouse renovation from a few years ago. Can they do this? – Joel
Answer: As long as your association follows the correct procedure, it can pass a special assessment. When your association has a unique expense that the regular maintenance dues cannot cover, it can pass a “special” assessment. These assessments can be a one-time payment, or they can be spread out over a period of time. However, unlike your regular dues, they do not continue indefinitely. Once their purpose is funded, the assessment is complete, and the money cannot be used for any purpose other than what it was created for.
Generally, your board can pass a special assessment without a full vote of all the owners. The board must specifically notify the owners in advance that the issue will be voted on at an upcoming meeting and must publicly decide. Of course, like with many association-related matters, your community may have more stringent requirements, so be sure to check your community’s documents.
Special assessments are often levied for needed repairs that the association cannot currently afford or to renovate the community. Common examples are for roofing projects, to replace fences or repave the roads and lots. Since your association may not have saved the necessary reserves, and it is not realistic to expect the homeowners to pay for the entire repair up front, your board may choose to borrow the money from a bank and have the special assessments repay the loan.
Boards can also refinance such loans to get better terms or to pay off the loan early, as seems to be the case for you. While it is unpleasant to have to pay extra, it is often the only way to maintain your community while keeping your monthly dues as low as possible – something every homeowner wants.
About the writer: Gary M. Singer is a Florida attorney and board-certified as an expert in real estate law by the Florida Bar. He practices real estate, business litigation and contract law from his office in Sunrise, Fla. He is the chairman of the Real Estate Section of the Broward County Bar Association and is a co-host of the weekly radio show Legal News and Review. He frequently consults on general real estate matters and trends in Florida with various companies across the nation.
© 2018 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), Gary M. Singer. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Source: Florida Realtors
Is Homeownership a Part of Your American Dream?
Are You Ready for Homeownership?
According to the latest Aspiring Home Buyers Profile by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 82% of surveyed renters desire to own a home in the future, with 80% believing homeownership is a big part of achieving their American Dream.
The profile went on to state that 50% of millennials believe that their rent will increase, with 20% believing that an increase in rent will be the catalyst that pushes them to consider buying a home vs. renewing their lease.
So, what is holding renters back?
What would make renters take the plunge?
NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun believes that,
“Housing demand in 2018 will be fueled by more millennials finally deciding to marry and have kids and the expectations that solid job growth and the strengthening economy will push incomes higher.”
Yun goes on to warn that,
“However, with prices and mortgage rates also expected to increase, affordability pressures will persist. That is why it is critical for much of the country to start seeing a significant hike in new and existing housing supply. Otherwise, many would-be first-time buyers will be forced to continue renting and not reach their dream of being a homeowner.”
So What’s The Bottom Line?
If you are one of the many homeowners whose houses no longer fit their needs and are looking to move up to your dream home, now is a great time to list your starter home! First-time buyers are out in force looking to achieve their American Dream.
Are you a currently a tenant looking to achieve your goal in 2018? Don’t wait! As home prices are on the rise along with the changing mortgage rates, now is the time to get the ball rolling. Contact your Local Bardell Realtor® today to get some more information about your home purchase!