Is This Your Situation: Buying a Property With an HOA?
Purchasing a home in a Homeowners Association (HOA) has its advantages. You have access to community amenities like swimming pools, public basketball courts, etc. The neighborhoods are generally nicer due to regulated upkeep of homes. Any disputes you have with your neighbors can be mediated with the HOA.
However, it’s important to read the fine print. Here are some must-investigate items when buying property in an HOA.
1. Monthly Service Fees
It’s important to remember that all your community amenities are funded with HOA payments. The more amenities you have, the higher your HOA fees will be. Fees, on average, range from $200-$400 per month, but depending on the extent of the community amenities, fees can go as high as $600 per month.
It’s possible that after reviewing your needs and wants for your future home, you may find that you’re willing and able to cover the fees in your monthly expenses. It’s just a good idea to confirm before signing any paperwork.
2. Services Included
Besides community amenities, it’s a good idea to check to see what additional benefits are covered in your monthly HOA fees. More often than not, you’re not just paying for access to neighborhood amenities; you’re also paying for common area maintenance.
Furthermore, your HOA fees may also cover minor repairs to your roof or shared fences, termite removal and sewer charges.
Some Homeowners Associations also take care of water bills, trash removal and even cable for each home in their monthly service fees.
3. Exterior Design Standards
Some of the benefits of having a home in an HOA can also become a real pain in the neck if you’re not careful. Find out what the design standards are for the exterior of your home and yard.
These standards keep the neighborhood looking uniformly groomed and welcoming, but consider how long you’ll have to spend in your yard to make sure the grass doesn’t exceed the limit. Make sure this HOA is right for you.
Pro Tip: Check to see if the home you’re about to purchase is already out of compliance with the homeowner's association’s standards and rules.
4. Monthly Meeting Minutes
A special benefit of buying a home in an HOA is that you have exclusive access to the atmosphere of the neighborhood before you buy your home. You can ask your HOA for a copy of the last meeting’s minutes.
After reviewing them, you can see public confrontations between neighbors, how those confrontations were resolved by the HOA and whether the HOA has sued anyone and why.
Buying a home in an HOA can be a trying task. If you need help with anything, feel free to give me a call.