Homeowners associations can include single-family residences in a community or a townhouse or condo community. Before you purchase a property within a homeowners association, there are five things you should know.

First, what is the monthly cost of the HOA? For condos and townhomes, that can range from $250 to $450 or even $500, depending on what the community offers.

“What is covered by the HOA and what benefits are available?”

You need to be comfortable with that monthly payment. Plus, your lender will qualify you based on your mortgage payment, taxes, and HOA fees, so it’s important to know what that amount is in order to qualify to buy the property.

What is covered in the HOA? Homeowners associations may cover general upkeep of the area, landscaping, pool maintenance, tennis court upkeep, and other amenities. Some HOAs cover trash removal, water bills, and insurance for the property—which is not the same as your personal policy. Figure out what the HOA offers and what benefits are available to you.

What are the rules and regulations in the HOA? Different homeowners associations will have different rules, such as where you can park, how many people you can have over, and other things like that.

Are you happy with the outside of the house? The great thing about HOAs is the community will be uniform. There are specific colors for the outside of the house and the front door. There are also rules about mowing the lawn and landscaping. Some people may view these regulations as a downside because there is less freedom for what you can do with your property.

Finally, how can you get involved with the HOA? You may want to get on the HOA board to make the rules and regulations and further improve the property and the community itself.

If you have any other questions about homeowners associations or you would like to learn more about buying a home, just give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!