phillytreasures wrote:This is very helpful; thank you. Question for you, Saving$: do i have the right to ALL of this paperwork BEFORE making an offer?...
Are there laws that govern this or is this a general business practice to allow the potential buyer see all the docs you mentioned?
I can see why r/e agent would be reluctant in going through the trouble of providing this every time someone is considering to make an offer...(Of course, I , as a buyer,
If the seller is truly interested in selling, the seller should be able to provide all this information. An agent who says it is not available until you make an offer, is in my opinion, simply lazy.
I have served several stints on the board of a HOA, and can tell you that most savvy buyers ask for some combination of the documents I listed, but few ask for all of them. The covenants and the bylaws convey with the deed and should be public information. The two HOA in which I own have those documents publicly available on their website.
One of the HOA's also has all the meeting minutes available on their website, behind a password. The balance of the info would need to be requested, but should be simple to get. If it is not simple to get, that should tell you something about the association.
The thing about buying a property in a HOA is you are not just stuck with the property, but also with the HOA. You are purchasing ALOT of risk if you buy into a poorly managed HOA. I cannot begin to describe how terribly some HOA's are managed. Many of them outright ignore the law and violate it repeatedly. Unless an existing homeowner is willing to take them to task and fight the battle, they get away with it. Everywhere I have owned that has an HOA, 80% of the owners are totally apathetic. They don't want to serve on the board, they don't want to attend meetings, and they want to pay as little as possible. They don't care what the board does, and will generally vote for whomever will set the dues the lowest, until things look terrible and they complain loudly. Then they will vote out that board and vote in a new one that must do an assessment, and works their tails off to clean things up. Once cleaned up, people are happy with the way things look, and only remember that the current board raised dues, so they vote them out and the cycle starts over. If a majority of owners interested enough to attend meetings and obtain proxies plan to sell within a few years, they will be extremely resistant to proper reserves collection, and HOA will be weak. They are counting on most buyers being as ill informed as they were when they bought, and counting on the buyer having no idea until after closing.