Remind me one more time… What’s an HOA? HOA stands for Homeowners Association, and is a non-profit organization made of volunteers and a governing body that sets budgets for common use spaces and creates and enforces rules and regulations for home subdivisions and/or condominium complexes. When you purchase a home in a place with an HOA, you automatically become a member and pay a fee to the HOA on a monthly or annual basis.
Why would I want to be a part of an HOA? Your monthly HOA fee should theoretically do a lot of good for you.
If you’re in a single-family home neighborhood, your HOA fee pays for things like:
- Neighborhood signs
- Neighborhood landscaping
- The neighborhood clubhouse
- Swimming pool
- And other shared spaces
Having these spaces looking and functioning well is not only good for your personal use and enjoyment, but it also maintains and improves property values.
If you’re in a condominium complex, chances are your HOA fee will be much higher, but your fee should cover much more, possibly including everything listed above, as well as:
- All property landscaping
- Pest control
- Roof and foundation maintenance/repair
- External window and door repair/replacement
- All external surfaces and paint
- Porch maintenance
- Stairwell safety/upkeep
- Car wash stations
- And more!
This means that while your fee may seem pricey, you don’t have to pay for even half of the maintenance supplies or services that a single-family home owner does. You also save yourself a great deal of time and energy!
HOA fees may seem like a downside to you if you never plan to use the gym or pool, don’t care what the neighborhood looks like, and aren’t concerned about property values in relation to your neighborhood. If that’s the case, then that’s ok! HOAs can also feel restrictive to some people because they may govern how you landscape your yard, paint/decorate the exterior of your home, or set restrictions on where to park your vehicles, boats and RVs. While these restrictions are put in place for the betterment of the community, some may find this overbearing.
At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide if the cost pays for itself and if your values align with the goals of your neighborhood HOA. HOA fees and services vary widely, and it’s important to do your research and fully understand your investment before purchasing a property with or without an HOA in place.