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As a homeowner, you may have heard of the term HOA, which stands for homeowners association. Being a member of an HOA means that you pay extra fees and taxes aside from your house bills and mortgage.
But why are we doing it as HOA members and what else should we know about? This article explains HOAs in more detail.
A homeowner association is an organization of homeowners in subdivisions, condominiums, or specific communities. They're tasked to enforce rules and make guidelines within that community. When you buy a house with HOA jurisdiction, you will automatically become an HOA member and are subject to additional fees and taxes. These fees are intended to maintain cleanliness and provide better security for your community.
When you're already a part of an HOA or considering buying a property under a community with HOA, these are the things that you should know.
HOA fees vary depending on the size and complexity of the amenities in the community. The average monthly HOA fee can be as low as $200 for single-family homes and as high as $700 for high-end housing.
Before buying a property, the real estate agent will show you how much you will pay for your HOA. Take note that you will pay the HOA fee as long as you own the property.
The association can also increase the fees over time, so you’ll want to ask how often they increase them. If the mortgage, property taxes, and HOA fees are already taking up too much money from your wallet, consider other properties with lower HOA fees.
HOA rules may vary from one community to another. For example, most HOA rules require members to be mindful of their surroundings. Others can be so strict to the point where a specific color coding for houses needs to be followed, including fence height. Furthermore, you will need permission from your HOA before renovating or extending your house.
In condominiums, HOAs can regulate where you park or how you walk with your pets. They can also restrict loud noises and the number of vehicles you can keep.
What happens if you violate their rules? Most likely, you will need to pay a fine for the violation. In worst cases, if you don’t pay the violation fees, they can put a lien against your home. As a result, you won't be able to sell your property. Although most HOAs will try to prevent that from happening, you should always follow all their rules.
Make sure to stay updated with your HOA’s rules and guidelines. If you cannot find the rules online, contact your agent or get them directly from the HOA's office.
There are some benefits and privileges with a homeowners association. Because HOA regulations make a pleasant appearance in your neighborhood, your property value may increase. The HOA fees also cover proper trash collection and access to amenities like swimming pools and tennis courts.
However, the HOA fee can be too expensive for some, and the HOA rules can be too unreasonable or restrictive. Although homeowners can petition to change HOA rules, this can be too bothersome.
Becoming a part of a specific community means having rights and responsibilities in that community. If you want a more organized community and are okay paying extra for that, consider buying a property with a homeowner's association. That way, you're assured of some perks and privileges.
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