If you're thinking about buying a condo in Gulf Shores, you are probably well aware that there will be monthly fees associated with it. While technically these are "Condo Fees", most people associate this cost with the name HOA fees (Home Owner's Association fees). There are many condo communities in Gulf Shores with many different monthly fees.
If you're new to the condo buying experience, you may experience a sensation of "sticker shock" when you first see how much these fees can be, as they could be anywhere from $250-$2,000 per month. While the difference in the fees are usually due to the size of the unit and the amenities, I think you'll find that after you see what these HOA fees cover, you'll understand the cost more.
So, let's talk about .........
Gulf Shores Condo Fees
This infographic covers just about everything that is "typically" covered with a complex's HOA fees. I say typically because there may be slight changes from one association to the next, but for the most part, here's what you'll find.
Every condo association will have an account where they will deposit excess funds that are needed for future expenses. A condo building will need repairs from time to time, just like your house. So, when the roof needs to be repaired or the windows need to be replaced for instance, the reserve funds are there to offset this cost.
If there isn't enough money in the account for the repair, each condo owner will be assessed a certain amount of money to pay for the job. A condo association with strong reserve funds shows security and peace of mind for all future needs.
You have to have some kind of managing group to oversee the financials of a condo association and this is what part of your HOA fees will pay for each month. They make important decisions about how the community is run, discuss problem areas, and work toward making the community as good as can be. Many members of the management team are often condo owners within the community and are voted into the position by their peers.
Most condo communities will have some kind of security whether it's a front gate to enter the parking lot or a full time security guard. Other properties that I'm aware of having a security company patrol the area during certain times of the day and night.
Common Area Insurance
Insurance for the common areas usually makes up a large portion of the monthly HOA fee. The main distinguishing factor of condo ownership is that you will own the airspace and interior walls of the unit. Everything else is considered common area including the halls, balconies, grounds, stairs, the building structure, pool, etc.
So, if you own a single family home you would have to purchase wind and hail (possibly flood) insurance separately. When owning a condo, this insurance is usually covered in the HOA fee. The only insurance that you would need would be for contents and liability.
A community's amenities are a big factor to condo buyers and you would expect to have to pay to keep them up. While having a tremendous amount of amenities like at The Beach Club is wonderful, they have to be maintained. The good thing with condo living is that you don't have to maintain them yourself but someone does.
Typically you'll find Gulf Shores condos with amenities that include:
Next in the infographic, you see that WIFI is often covered in the monthly fee. Lord knows that we all feel the need to get online whether we're on vacation or not. So, it's nice to know that many of the condo buildings in Gulf Shores do include WIFI in their HOA fees.
Well, cable tv goes hand in hand with the internet and you'll find that just about every association will provide the basic plan in the monthly fee. Of course, you can always upgrade to larger plans on your dime, but if all you need is the basic channel line up, you're good to go.
Trash, Water, & Sewer
Here are 3 services that are essential to every condo owner and are mostly found within every condo association in Gulf Shores. As a matter of fact, I'm not sure that there is a community that doesn't offer these services in their monthly charge.
Everything breaks down over time, whether it's your home in the suburbs or your beach condo. Maintenance is a must with a condo complex especially in a resort area because the more people that you have, the more things will wear down. Larger communities will have full time staff that keep the grounds and the building up to par so that you don't have to do it yourself.
Lastly, in our infographic we see that pest control is covered in monthly HOA fees. This is essential especially in the south since we tend to have an issue with termites and other wood destroying insects. With regular pest inspections and termite bonds, you can rest assure that your condo investment will last a lifetime.
Thanks for taking the time to read over my infographic on Gulf Shores Condo Fees. As always, if buying a condo is in your future, please reach out to me.