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Homeowner’s Associations and what they mean for you

homeownership
Homeowner’s Associations and what they mean for you

A homeowner's association (HOA) is an organization in a subdivision, community, or condominium formed to manage shared expenses in a planned subdivision or other organized community such as landscaping and other maintenance costs. Condominium HOAs take on more responsibilities including, for example, the maintenance of driveways, shared structures, and roofs. HOAs also make and enforce rules for the properties and its residents.

An HOA is comprised of–and run by–the community's residents. Membership in an HOA is usually a requirement to buy a home within a community where an HOA has been established. Those who purchase property within an HOA's jurisdiction automatically become members and are required to pay dues, known as HOA fees.

There are significant pros to owning a home with a HOA like:

  • Trash or yard waste pick-up may be organized by the HOA.
  • Sometimes HOAs help with the yard.
  • Utilities may be included in monthly fee.
  • Depending on the community you may have access to any communal amenities like parks, clubhouses, or pools.

Conversely, there may be some reasons you consider buying a house without an HOA like:

  • Some HOAs have expensive yearly or seasonal fees.
  • There are often strict rules on personalizing the exterior of your home.
  • The HOA may have unorganized management.
  • There is less privacy in an HOA, and you must follow all applicable rules.

Should you buy a house with an HOA? It depends! If you want to be independent and not have to worry about rules or restrictions, probably not. However, some HOAs help with things such as yard maintenance, trash pick-up, and more. If you are hoping to reduce responsibilities like these, an HOA could be for you.

Because each HOA is so different in what they provide homeowners, and the type of rules they have in place, it is advisable to obtain and review the HOA rules before buying a home in a planned community.

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