One BIG question that pops-up when buyers are looking at homes or condos is the "HOA" fee....
What exactly is it?
What does it cover?
How does it work?
Why is it necessary?
And of course, sometimes it can be unsexy for buyers as it adds "just another expense" to the home. But before you judge in haste, I challenge you to reconsider the actual value of HOA fees and how they may actually be putting money back in your pocket in the long-run...
First, what exactly is an HOA fee?
An HOA fee is an amount paid to the association typically on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis by the homeowner(s) that goes towards maintaining the neighbor and enforcing certain regulations. The association consists of elected board members that manage the area to ensure bylaws & regulations are being upheld, oversee any development projects within the community such as recreational amenities, and maintain the HOA budget.
Some HOA's have regulations on the height of the grass, certain signs that can be in the yard, color of exterior paint, fencing regulations, type of mailbox, and so on...
Some also provide homeowners with exclusive access to to maintained pools, clubhouses, gyms, courts that otherwise would not available do to the lack of homeowners ability to maintain them.
Some associations use the money for landscaping common areas, upkeep of amenities, insurance on commonly owned structures, security, and other general upkeep.
But ultimately how does money coming out of your pocket for these expenses and amenities (some that you may never use) eventually end up saving you money in the long-run? It has to do with property values! While this is not the case for every single HOA in America, typically a properly managed HOA with reasonable fees can and a properly maintained budget can help increase property values in the neighborhood.
The mandated standards of care and maintenance for the individual homeowners along with the common grounds help make everyones' home look better and more maintained.
Living next to a guy that never cuts his grass, has broken windows, paints his shutters purple, or wont replace is 30 yr old roof, can and will bring down the value of YOUR home. No buyer wants to purchase a property for top-dollar when they will be moving next door to someone that doesn't take care of them self or their property.
Trust me, not every homeowner views HOA fees as a benefit (mainly because they don't see how it directly affects the bottom $$ on their home immediately) and some see them as a nuisance - having to worry about what the association might make them do next.
All-in-all, don't give Home Owner Assocations' a bad wrap without first examining what the association is actually doing. The majority of the time, by you paying a relatively small fee, you will end up saving and possibly gaining on the value of your home!...Now, that is something to be happy about!
Sean S. Williams
Licensed Broker, Realtor®, ABR®, e-Pro®
1st Time Buyer & Relocation Specialist
of Louisville, Kentucky
"Eat. Sleep. Real Estate."
*Serving the Louisville, Kentucky & Surrounding Areas.
Trust in a dedicated Real Estate professional to cater to your needs.
Accredited Buyer Representative® , e-Pro®, First-Time Home Buyer Specialist & Louisville Relocation Specialist.
I would love to assist you today!*