Feb 13, 2024 - Real Estate

High fees: What to know about Portland's HOAs

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

Homebuyers in Oregon considering condos or townhomes may be unaware of the potential for HOA dues to increase over time, leading to substantial additional payments.

Why it matters: There are 4,100 housing community associations in Oregon — according to the latest estimates from the Foundation for Community Association Research — meaning many home shoppers must factor in homeowners association fees as part of their purchase prices.

By the numbers: Over half a million Oregonians lived in housing associations as of 2021.

  • In Portland, the average HOA payment is nearly $490, per eXp Realty, a regional brokerage.
  • Residents living in community associations across Oregon pay $1.1 billion a year to maintain their neighborhoods, per CAR data.

Between the lines: HOA fees cover maintenance, repairs, and amenities like pools and gyms, among other things, keeping the community running.

Be smart: Condo 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 [in] 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," Trapasso said.

Zoom in: Last year, residents at the 111-unit Copperfield Condominiums in the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood were faced with paying up to $52,000 upfront (or nearly $400 for 300 months with interest) to replace the building's siding from further deterioration.

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

  • 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.

The intrigue: Higher monthly fees have similarly pushed up the price of renting.

  • Many renters are being hit with charges for valet trash pickup, pest control, move-ins, and move-outs, the Wall Street Journal reports.

We want to know: What is your experience with HOA rules, dues, and fines? Email us.

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

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