To HOA or Not to HOA ?  The popular discussion these days is to avoid  HOAs  (home owner associations). The typical objections are  because the fees are not tax deductible and waste your  money when buying a condominium or townhome. That is not necessarily true.
Every home requires work and maintenance and if you do not have to take care of the outside of a home, the internal plumbing, the landscaping, roof and extra utilities that is a big bonus in time and energy.
The main pluses of an HOA community :
1. Someone else maintains the property – leaving you with more free time to do other things
2. Insurance is paid for and managed
3. Utilities may be paid making your monthly over head much lower
4. Cheaper way to get closer to the community you want – homes in the area may be quite unaffordable
The main drawbacks of  an HOA community :
1. You are connected to the people in the HOA – if they are irresponsible then that may affect the quality of the community.
2. Older complexes require large retrofits for decks and electrical, perhaps plumbing. These hidden costs may end up as assessments – back to a single family residence – more maintenance
3. The HOA may be spending money on large improvements like community pools or elevators which pull money away from regular maintenance
4. Have a bad management company
5. Lack of privacy and a yard may be deterrents
6. Are the rules to your benefit or restrictive – many associations do not allow the property to be rented hence but the plus in this is that owner occupied property is usually better maintained
7. Parking may be problematical
8. At 10 years old many HOAs enter litigation — that is not necessarily a bad thing just something to inquire about
9. You may need HOA association approval or will not be able to remodel the way you would like

What is an HOA?

An HOA is the governing body of a subdivision, planned community, or condominium complex. It’s run by a board of volunteers who usually live there. When you buy in the community you are automatically a member.  Generally you have a set of rules to follow and pay monthly dues.  The HOA’s function is to enforce those rules, which are called Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions, or CC&Rs.

The HOA is there to protect your property value.

The goals of an HOA’s rules are to increase property values and allow all members to enjoy the amenities like pools, clubhouses, gyms, theater, walking trails. The best HOAs make sure the neighborhood is  clean, attractive, and safe. Weigh the benefits with the cost of the association dues and that will help you to determine if the association is right for you.  Also look carefully as to whether the budget is fully funded to keep the property in good condition for the time you will be there.

Considering a property with an HOA – ask me whether it is a good buy:

Sandy Kay 408 202 0608 

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