What are HOA fees?

When looking for a condo, townhome, or a property in a planned or gated community, be sure to take a look at the Homeowners Association (HOA) fees. HOA fees are included for all common areas of the property. Since there are multiple residents in the same complex, all are required to join the HOA and help cover the costs of common areas.

Monthly Expenses

HOA fees cover monthly expenses for upkeep and maintenance of the property and common areas. This can include landscaping, pool area, fitness room, parking lots, and hallways. In addition, utilities and insurance for these common areas are covered through HOA fees.

Reserve Fund

Along with covering monthly maintenance costs, part of the fee goes into a reserve fund. This fund can be used for larger, planned expenses, such as plumbing or a new roof for a building. Reserve funds may also be used for emergency situations, like the expenses that occur from a natural disaster.

Are HOA fees worth it?

That can depend on what you are looking for. The amenities that come with complex living can be unbeatable, especially when you don’t have to deal with the day-to-day maintenance or the stress when an unexpected cost arises.  Generally speaking, the more upscale a complex and its amenities, the higher the HOA fees are. The cost of fees can also depend on where you live. For example, living in humid, subtropical Florida can raise the HOA fees for the price of landscaping alone. Always be sure to find out what the fees are and exactly what they cover before making a decision to purchase a condo or townhome

Condo Associations: What do they do?

Living in a condominium can be filled with perks, including the use of a fitness room or pool, lawn maintenance, and snow removal. In order to keep common areas maintained and unit owners happy, Condo Associations set rules, regulations, and fees for condominium and townhouse owners. The Condo Association’s board of directors, voted in by unit owners, oversees this work and handles disputes that may arise.

Condo Association Fees

In addition to paying a mortgage, unit owners pay condo association fees or dues. The board of directors determines how much members pay for the upkeep of the association. Fees can vary greatly depending on what amenities are available to unit owners. Condo association fees are used for the general upkeep of the property, such as landscaping, as well as repairs for common areas, such as new roofing.

Common Areas

Common Areas in condominium associations can include parking areas, sidewalks, lobbies, hallways, lawns, fitness rooms, pools, and recreational areas. These areas are for the use of all unit owners. Maintenance and repairs in common areas are paid from Condo Association dues. Condo Associations also have their own insurance policy for common areas. To learn more about what may be covered by your association vs. what your personal unit policy should cover, head to Allstate’s article on the topic.

Rules and Disputes

Condo Associations do not just pay for the upkeep of common areas, they also work to build an enjoyable living community for all members. This requires rules and regulations for unit owners. These rules can cover broader topics such as pet and noise regulations, down to color options for your front door. When disputes arise between members or rules are not followed, the board of directors is in charge of settling these cases, whether it is through warning letters, fines, or other means.

Condo associations can be very beneficial for members, but only if it’s regulations, fees, and perks are fitting with your lifestyle. Learn as much as you can about the association before buying a new unit. Laws for condo living vary state to state, so also look into State Condo Laws.

 

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