5 Benefits of an HOA

Written by Posted On Monday, 14 October 2013 10:33

Many buyers may be wary of purchasing properties that require HOA fees. They may look at it as just another monthly payment, and may miss the big picture of how HOA fees can benefit them. Some buyers may view HOAs as restricting because they may control the color that your paint your house or the type of mailbox you can have, but in actuality, these regulations often protect the value of your home. Condos and townhouses commonly have HOA fees, but subdivisions and neighborhoods may also have an HOA. While every buyer should weigh the cost of the fees and what is included, here are some common benefits of an HOA.


Every property requires some type of maintenance and buyers spend good money on maintaining a home or condo. The plus side to HOA fees is that the owner doesn't have to worry about putting money into maintenance because their HOA fees cover the upkeep of the property. Typical maintenance covered by HOA fees for condos include as lawn care, trash removal, swimming pool maintenance,snow removal, and common area upkeep (such as elevators, lobbies, clubhouses, etc.). Neighboorhood HOA fees usually only cover maintenance of common places such as the community pool, gym, recreational spaces, and parks. "The best perk of HOA fees is what I call hybrid living," said Brian Kim of Group BK. "You own the space, but you don't have to manage the property." 


Insurance coverage is a advantage that condo owners reap the benefit of from their HOA. "Condo fees include the insurances of the building, including the hazard and liability insurance," said Chip Watson from Jersey Shore Real Estate Experts. "In the Jersey Shore market, flood insurance is also included." It's important to research what insurances are included in the HOA fee and determine if the benefits outweigh the cost. With insurance off the table, owners have one less thing to worry about and one more thing to rely on their HOA fees for.

Property updates. 

Although HOA fees can't cover ever major property updates, these fees contribute towards a reserve account for for future improvements or to repair unexpected damage not planned for in the buget. An example of this would be if a natural disaster damaged the property and the roof needed to be replaced or flooring needed to be updated due to flooding.This reserve account gives buyers security that the property will remain updated and in good shape. Owners would not be responsible for these updates because they are part of the HOA. This provides the community a sense of security and may save them money in the long run. 


One of the most attractive benefits to HOA fees are the amenities. Some communities offer gates, security, swimming pools, clubhouses, gyms, tennis courts, basketball courts or other attractive amenities that are paid for through HOA fees. Amenities can easily convince buyers of the benefits of an HOA because the added entertainment often outweighs the cost of the fees. 

Property value protection.

One of the most beneficial long term advantages of an HOA include the regulations put in place by the board that ultimately protects the property value of the home. "The HOA restricts activity that can harm your property value. For example your neighbor can't paint their house bright pink, or the entry way to our subdivision can't become run down and unkempt," said Thom Dallman from Core Group. It's important to participate in HOA meetings in order to have a voice in any community changes and enforcement of regulations within the community. 


While these are basic benefits of an HOA, each community has unique coverage included in their fees. Some communities may offer all of these benefits, while others may offer only a few. When purchasing a property with HOA fees, consider what you can afford, what is important to your household, and what all is included in the fees. 


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