Homeowners association fees, aka HOA fees, are monthly expenses paid by members of a residential community (usually a condo) to maintain the shared space.
What are homeowners association (HOA) fees?
Homeowners association fees are a set sum of money you need to pay when you live in a residential property, condo community or co-op.
Residential communities typically have an HOA board, aka a homeowners association, which is a group of residents who manage common areas and community property, create and enforce rules, and try to maintain a certain quality of living for the building or neighborhood.
The HOA uses the HOA fee to cover the costs of upkeep to the shared spaces, such as lobbies, patios, landscaping, swimming pools, clubhouse, tennis courts, and elevators. The fees can also pay for services like trash removal, repairs, and reserve funds.
How much are HOA fees?
Monthly HOA fees typically range between $200 – $1,000. They vary based on the location of the condo, and what the HOA provides. The more services and amenities, the higher the monthly HOA fees.
Each resident must pay the exact same amount unless they have exclusive access to a service or amenity like reserved parking.
What do HOA fees cover?
Depending on the HOA community, your HOA fee might go towards trash disposal or water fees.
HOA insurance protects damages to your common area. Take note that you’ll need to separate purchase condo insurance to protect your individual home and personal property.
Maintenance and repairs
General maintenance and repairs of the common areas, for instance, electricity, or gardening.
Amenities and services
Such as a fitness center, swimming pool, security gate, or doorman and concierge services, depending on your HOA community. Naturally, the more luxurious the amenities, the higher the HOA fees.
This is a savings account for unexpected costs and expenses. Let’s say your shared laundry room gets flooded, your HOA will dip into the reserve funds to fix it.
If you’re unlucky enough to have a pest problem, your HOA fees would cover the exterminator or pest control services.
Are HOA fees optional?
No. Once you’ve signed a contract and moved into a property that has an HOA community, you’ll be required to follow the rules of the HOA, which includes paying HOA feels. Otherwise, you may face legal action.
Your HOA might be flexible about late payments, but most require a late fee or interest on your payment. You should look into the consequences of a late HOA fee before you sign your contract. Skipping HOA fees permanently can lead to potential foreclosure.
Are HOA fees worth it?
That really depends on your lifestyle- there are endless pros and cons to think about before moving into a condo community.
Well-managed HOAs do a lot of heavy lifting for you. They’ll make sure there are enough reserve funds for emergency projects, which is a big relief for those who hate taking care of repairs or maintenance. Not to mention, your outdoor space will likely look immaculate at any time of the year.
Your HOA fees should be fair, based on the services you receive. If you’re not getting too much out of your condo community and you’re still paying big bucks, you might want to re-think it.