Feb 10, 2024 - News

High fees: What to know about Denver HOAs

Estimated number of HOAs, condominiums and cooperatives with fees, 2023
Data: Foundation for Community Association Research; Map: Alice Feng/Axios

There are 11,300 condo and other community associations in Colorado, according to the latest estimates from the Foundation for Community Association Research.

Why it matters: The role and governance of HOA is a much-debated topic that drew attention from the governor and state lawmakers, who are seeking to rein in their power.

Between the lines: Homebuyers considering condos for their low prices may not realize HOA dues can run into the thousands per month and can change over time.

  • HOA fees cover maintenance and amenities like pools and gyms, among other things that keep the building running.

Flashback: In 2022, Denver imposed new rules to require HOAs to give homeowners a 30-day notice before starting a foreclosure. The same year, state lawmakers approved a new law to add transparency to collection of certain fines and fees.

Be smart: Buyers should pay close attention to the building's age, condition, location and finances, Clare Trapasso with Realtor.com tells Axios.

  • "If they're buying an older building that doesn't have much in its reserve fund to pay for emergencies, and the building floods frequently or the elevator gives out, then each individual condo owner may see their monthly HOA fees go up," says Trapasso, the company's executive news editor.

What's next: If your dues change, the association board should report that in the community newsletter, website or meeting notices, according to Thomas Skiba, CEO of the Community Associations Institute.

  • Typically condo fees don't go down, unless a special assessment — extra fees charged under unforeseen circumstances — ends or the building gets an influx of cash, Trapasso says.

Go deeper: How much owning a single-family home really costs in the U.S.

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