What is an amenity Fee?

DLM2000May 25, 2013

Browsing through some listings today and have come across several houses that state "Buyer Pays Amenity Fee of ....." They all seem to be in the 3 - 4k range. I've never heard of that before and have no idea what it's for. This is on top of Association fees. Can anyone tell me what an Amenity Fee generally covers and if it's a one time or recurring fee. Thanks.

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Sophie Wheeler

In a PUD that's for maintaining the community clubhouse, pool, walking trails, etc.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2013 at 7:51PM
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stolenidentity

I have no idea but I think it's a fee I would fight not to pay.

No such thing where I live, even in PUD (?), hoods with covenent rules, or HOAs.

Can you call the realtor of one of the listings and ask them dlm2000, and then come back and tell us?

    Bookmark   May 25, 2013 at 9:50PM
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Sophie Wheeler

In most Planned Unit Developments, it's part and parcel of buying into the neighborhood. You can't just say, "I'm not going to use the pool, so I"m not going to pay". It's like a condo fee. It's not optional if you want to live in that neighborhood. It's a required annual fee that pays for upkeep of the common elements.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2013 at 11:38PM
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kirkhall

But why have separate amenity fee AND HOA fee? Why not just have it all the same, maybe budgeted out after it is received?

    Bookmark   May 25, 2013 at 11:59PM
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barbcollins

I worked at an large HOA for a while (fun times!) and while we didn't call it an "Amenity Fee" there was a "Transfer Fee" at the time of settlement. The funds went into to general fund to help pay for improvements to the Amenities etc.

There was a also a "Special Assessment" of about $20K per lot which was attached to the lot to improve the roads.. Owners had a choice as to whether to pay it lump sum, or over 20 years. If they sold the house it would pass to the next owner.

Could be the situation here. They may have had to build a new pool or something like that and the owner voted in a special assessment which still needs to be paid.

I would call the HOA and ask.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 7:02AM
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xamsx

Kirkhall when we were looking at condos in Florida we came across a community my Hubby loved. It had the amenity fee and an HOA fee. In that instance, there were different parts of the community, all having different gated access, except for the houses in and around "main street". Behind each gate there was a different HOA even though everything was part of the planned community.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 9:24AM
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DLM2000

Thanks for the information. I have a better sense of what the fee may be for now. We don't live in a subdivision so there's no HOA and we have no experience with how they operate. It didn't make sense that there would be and association fee AND an amenity fee but if there are big expenses looming with community areas and buildings I suppose that's where it comes from. I won't bother calling because we're not that interested and it was just on a whim that I saw these houses - normally our parameters exclude subdivisions.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 9:51AM
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marie_ndcal

I would still call to clarify the question and to make sure it is what several poster stated to help others.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 11:42AM
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barbcollins

My husband and I both NEVER want to buy a house at a HOA again.
1) My experience at the one I worked at.
2) Bought a house near the beach, wasn't too bad, but started to go bad so we got out.
3) Bought a couple house at one at a lake in PA. Dues doubled within 3 years, and politics got very bad. We could even see where they were wasting money. We bailed out and swore we would NEVER buy another home in an HOA.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 12:24PM
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stolenidentity

Ditto: marie-ndcal who said "I would still call to clarify the question and to make sure it is what several poster stated to help others."

4 grand a year to swim and use the planned community amenities is steep imho. Sheesh it would be cheaper to pay for a personal trainer and build my own pool, tennis court, playground, dog park!

The HOA is expensive already, at least in my neck of the woods. I am glad to read that the OP is reconsidering a buy into that 'hood.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 2:22PM
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kirkhall

I've read seen special assessments and sometimes it might say, buyer to pay special assessment of.... But, that ends up being a negotiating point too.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 7:14PM
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