Homeowner’s Association Fees: Pros & Cons
By Alejandra Zamora
When searching for a home, especially one in an established neighborhood or complex, you may stumble upon that nearly hidden, extra price tag on top of the listing’s selling price: HOA fees. These monthly or annual payments that go to this organization are usually put to good use, like maintaining and managing the neighborhood’s looks and catering to what the community wants. However, having this extra expense may not be something you necessarily want or need: it all depends on what you’re looking for and how much you’re willing to pay. Still not sure? Let’s break down the advantages and disadvantages to these HOA fees.
➔ Great curb appeal: Without a doubt, an HOA price tag means a visually appealing neighborhood or apartment complex. Not only are the aesthetics pretty for you to see, but looks especially help when it comes time to sell.
➔ A dependable mediator: If you ever have a problem or dispute with a neighbor, the homeowner’s association of your area will take care of it for you. This can save you from getting involved in some messy situations.
➔ Amenities, amenities, amenities: From maintenance to leisure/activity spaces, you can have some peace of mind if your toilet overflows or you need a space for your kids to play after school. Plumbers and landscaping matters can always be taken care of, and you have access to private spaces, such as a gym, clubhouse, pool, or park.
➔ Costs: HOAs can be pricey, possibly costing you close to a thousand dollars a month. It’s a question of affordability, meaning homeowners need to do some extensive research on what the costs are and what they cover.
➔ Upkeep matters: While yes, much of the maintenance problems you may have can be taken care of quickly if you let the association know, it’s necessary that you do make the arrangements to fix any issues promptly. This is necessary for maintaining the neighborhood’s exterior appearance, so make sure you can afford any maintenance costs that may come your way.
➔ Possible foreclosure: Another disadvantage that relates back to costs, some HOA guidelines warn you that foreclosure is possible if you can’t pay fees. While this is a very rare situation, it shows it’s important you carefully read the guidelines and are able to handle making those payments.
Click the link below to see a sample Homeowner’s Association set of guidelines