HOA Explained

HOA Explained

Many of you have heard the term “HOA” before, but what does it really mean for you as a potential homeowner? HOA stands for Homeowners Association. It is an organizational body that governs small housing complexes or communities. You become a member when you become a resident of a subdivision or condominium complex that has an HOA. Not all complexes or subdivisions have HOAs, but if it does, then joining and abiding by its governing policies is typically a condition of purchase.

As a potential buyer, you should consider the specific regulations and fees that result from HOAs before you make an offer. These are not standardized and can vary widely from complex to complex or subdivision to subdivision.

If in a subdivision, your fees will cover things like architectural control enforcement, community pool maintenance, communal landscaping maintenance, and other services. In a condo, sometimes things like the roof, and exterior of the building are considered communal, so HOA fees are charged for their upkeep. Additionally, part of the fee may cover other amenities such as a gym, security, or lounge within the building.

While some may find HOAs to be overly restrictive and excessively expensive, they do provide some level of protection to the residents. On the whole, a recent survey determined 75% of residents were satisfied with their HOA. For starters, they are neighborhood-run. There is typically a board from which homeowners elect members to serve on.  This gives homeowners some degree of control over what kind of neighborhood they want to live in.  It also is said to provide some level of uniformity that may protect property values. Additionally, homeowners may have exclusive access to recreational amenities that they may not normally be able to afford to maintain on their own, such as a private tennis court.

When searching for your home, and considering your monthly mortgage payments, HOA dues should be taken into consideration. In downtown Seattle, for example, HOA dues in condominium complexes can range from $250.00/month to upwards of $1,000/month.  It will depend partially on your square footage in the building typically.

In some neighborhoods, especially master planned communities like Issaquah Highlands on the Eastside, HOA dues can vary depending on a home’s value. It is particularly important that you delve into the specific policies before making your decision to purchase.  As always, Team Troy buyer’s agents can help you navigate this tricky territory and help you make an informed decision about your new home. Give us a call today: 206-745-3457

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Phone: 206-940-2834
Dated: December 6th 2013
Views: 3,374
About Troy: ~Married with 2 children ~Turned grey prematurely ~Fetish for all things Apple ~Urban chicken far...

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