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The Condo Mania Team

News > The Fees Phoenix Condo Buyers and Sellers Can't Escape

Sure, the purchase contract looks good, but Phoenix condo buyers have one more addendum they'll want to pay attention to, because it will mean hundreds of dollars of extra fees. What fees? The homeowner association (HOA) transfer and resale fees that must be paid at close of escrow. What are these fees? In simple terms, when a homeowner buys a condo or townhome in Phoenix, the buyer becomes a member of the condo's homeowner association (HOA).

The HOA is responsible for the maintenance of the condominium grounds, and often the exterior of all the units as well. It's the HOA you call when the entry gate is malfunctioning, when the pool needs servicing or when that tree is encroaching on your balcony. Unfortunately all that costs money, and so homeowners need to pay into the fund that is used to provide those services. And with services, comes administrative costs as well, especially when a property changes hands.

Transfer Fee

Arizona law requires HOAs to provide all condo and townhome purchasers with copies of the following documents: the bylaws and rules of the association, the declaration, a copy of the current operating budget of the association, the most recent annual financial report, a copy of the most recent reserve study of the association, and other detailed statements and documents. If you’re an owner of a Phoenix condo, you may remember receiving these documents. As of January 1, 2012, charges related to the preparation of statements or documents (for purposes of transfer or use of the property, resale disclosure, or lien estoppel) are now limited to no more than $400 total. A maximum of $100 can be charged for preparation of rush documents prepared within 72 hours.

In addition, these fees can no longer be collected upfront but at close of escrow. If the current fees charged by an association are less than $400, the association can’t raise their fees by more than 20 percent per year until it reaches the $400 cap. Who Pays? Since Arizona law requires HOAs to prepare these documents, they also require someone (other than the homeowner association) to pay the costs incurred in the preparation of these documents and statements. That would be the buyer and/or the seller. The HOA addendum to the purchase contract will specify who pays those fees - buyer, seller, or both.

Community Enhancement Fees/ Capital Improvement Fees

Homeowner associations may require other fees upon the purchase of a home which are commonly labeled as community reserves, asset preservation, capital reserves, or working capital community enhancement of future improvement. These fees are not not included in the $400 cap. These fees go directly into the HOA and benefit the community, but can be significant.

More than One HOA

Condos in master planned communities such as Desert Ridge may have more than one HOA. There is one association for the condo community and one association for the master planned community. Each of these associations will have their own fees.

Our job and specialty is assisting you in determining and negotiating these fees. Give us a call before you start looking for your condo and we'll help you get started.


Though not guaranteed, information and statistics in this article have been acquired from sources believed to be reliable.

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Information Deemed Reliable But Not Guaranteed. The information being provided is for consumer's personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. This information, including square footage, while not guaranteed, has been acquired from sources believed to be reliable.

Last Updated: 2024-05-23 00:48:21