When searching for a new home, you may discover that some properties are in neighborhoods which have a homeowner's association (HOA). Unfortunately, there's a lot of misinformation floating around on the subject. To clear up the confusion, we're going to explain HOAs, how they work, and the pros and cons of joining them.
Homeowner's Associations: The Basics
An HOA is a organization in which individual property owners of communal living area - condos, townhouses, gated neighborhoods, subdivisions, etc. -- pay a fee to cover the expenses of communal areas and upkeep. While there are always exceptions, most HOAs require the individual property owners to join. So, if the home you are looking to buy is part of an Homeowner's association, you'll need to familiarize yourself with the HOA's rules.
When multiple people live in the same community and share access to the same area, they are equally responsible for maintaining these shared area. Whether it's a pool, club house, tennis court, or just the landscaping at the front of a subdivision, HOAs are intended to cover the maintenance expenses of these areas in an organized and fair manner.
How Much Does an HOA Membership Cost?
Again, HOA membership costs vary depending on the organization and its managers. With that said, association fees in the United States can run from $200 to $1,000 per month. You can usually gauge the price of an HOA by the value of the homes within the respective community. Communities with high-dollar homes will naturally have higher HOA costs.
What Benefits Does an HOA Offer?
While joining an HOA costs money - and it's a requirement in most communities -- it offers some key benefits. For starters, Homeowner's associations create "standards" that individual property owners must meet if they want to live in the community. This means you're less likely to see neglected homes with overgrown grass, damaged roofs and dirty siding.
Of course, the HOA handles all maintenance in communal areas. They may hire a professional landscaping company, for instance, to service the neighborhood once every few weeks. An HOA may also offer the recreational activities like swimming pools, basketball courts, tennis courts, gyms and more.
For more information on Homeowner's associations in the Hilton Head, Bluffton, or surrounding Lowcountry, please feel free to contact us with any questions.
This article was brought to you by Premier Island Properties - A full service real estate firm serving Hilton Head Island and Bluffton, South Carolina. For more real estate news, information, and interesting facts about the Lowcountry, please visit our website.
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