What Do HOA Fees Cover?
As you search for a home, you’ll likely be taking into consideration the neighborhoods around the homes you consider, including community amenities, landscaping, and the general feel of the area. Many of the nicest neighborhoods include an HOA, with the accompanying dues.
As you take into consideration this additional expense, you may be wondering what your money is used for and what will be covered by the HOA funds. The short answer is that this varies from community to community, but being aware of some of the standard things that are covered by HOA fees will help you ask informed questions during your house shopping process.
Most HOAs manage some level of community amenities, which might include a pool, playgrounds, sports courts, bike paths, or a clubhouse. While some of the amenities are often open to the public, others will be exclusive for HOA members, making the HOA fees similar to a membership fee at a country club or golf community. Ask your real estate agent if the community includes any of these amenities and when they are open.
Landscaping and Hardscaping
There is a wide range of maintenance levels for which an HOA is responsible, so it will be helpful to you to get into the nitty-gritty of this before purchasing. This may include maintenance of landscaping in common areas, or even your front yard landscaping. Some HOAs will cover seasonal maintenance like sprinkler blowouts and opening and closing of a community pool, salting sidewalks in the winter, snowplows for residential streets not covered by the city, and irrigation changes throughout the year. You’ll also want to inquire about hardscaping maintenance.
For example, find out whether sidewalk repairs are the responsibility of the homeowners or the HOA. Some HOAs also cover roof maintenance in condo and townhome communities, which will offset the fees significantly.
Most HOAs have a list of expectations for homeowners, and by enforcing these expectations they keep up the property values, safety, and general feel of the neighborhood. Rules like how long holiday decorations can be up after the holiday, the size and quantity of political signs, placement of trash cans, and even condition of the lawn help keep a neighborhood from becoming unkempt and mitigate neighborly conflict. The maintained property value and decrease in conflict between neighbors is an excellent benefit of HOA fees.
Management fees, miscellaneous and other such nominal fees are also built into the HOA price but it's important to know what you're paying for before deciding on a home.
Looking for a home in an HOA? Below you'll find dozens of homes with an HOA around our area and of course, most have amazing amenities. For specific amenities or perks to neighborhoods, contact us directly.
NTREIS data last updated May 22, 2022.