Most planned communities, whether they are condo associations or active adult communities, have a Home Owners Association. But before you sign the contract to purchase a home, be sure that you know how much the HOA fees will be, and what they cover. This cost can be a significant part of your housing expenses.
In the Monmouth / Ocean area, we’ve seen fees that range from as low as $9. per month to over $1500.00 !
So what do you get for that amount of money? Well – it varies.
Most, but not all Home Owners Associations include lawn maintenance (grass cutting) and snow removal. The snow removal may require 3″ or more, some HOAs require less. Often garbage and recycling services are included. There may be a club house with pool, tennis courts, a gym, even golf. As a rule of thumb, the nicer the common facilities, the higher the monthly fees.
Another factor is the type of home ownership. If the ownership style is fee simple, that means that you, the homeowner, are responsible for all maintenance of your home – both inside and out. If you need a new roof, reach into your piggy bank to pay for it. But if it’s condo ownership, that means the association owns the exterior of the building and is responsible. In that case, most HOAs state that windows and doors are considered “interior” and the home owner is responsible for them.
Another type of ownership is a co-op. Co-ops are similar to condo ownership
Some HOAs provide basic cable TV with the monthly fees. Others provide service contracts on appliances and HVAC systems.
The HOAs also many times have rules and regulations. These can dictate what type, size and number of pets are allowed – if any. They can tell you when and what color to paint your front door. They can prohibit you from parking a boat or an RV in your driveway. They enforce these rules and have the power to issue fines to violaters. If necessary, HOAs can levy special assessments to pay for major repairs that are not in the budget.
When you purchase a home with an HOA, get a copy of the financials to see if they are financially viable. Check out the rules and regulations. And understand the them before you purchase.