What's an HOA?
So many acronyms, so much confusion! And HOA falls right into this category. So, what's an HOA and is it right for me? Well, maybe...
HOA stands for “Homeowners Association.” It’s often a monthly or annual fee homeowners pay for living in a certain community and enjoying particular amenities. It’s common to have an HOA in townhouse communities or in condo areas, because generally these areas are being managed and often share utilities and/or amenities. But an HOA can be found in neighborhoods of single-family homes too. In fact, the most costly HOA in Utah is found in Daybreak.
Now, if you ask homeowners what they think about an HOA, you’re going to get a lot of different opinions. It really depends on your personality, lifestyle, and really what’s included. Let’s weigh the pros and cons.
PROS - An HOA can
- Keep homes in the area looking nice! Some HOAs have standards that must be upheld or you’ll face a fee. This means you’ll be less likely to see unkept lawns or peeling paint, so the entire neighborhood keeps a well manicured appearance.
- Maintain recreational amenities in the community. A swimming pool, gym, walking path, tennis courts, all are maintained from the HOA. Keep in mind the presence of these amenities add to the value of your home, even if you don’t regularly use them.
- Be convenient. Utilities like water, internet, TV, etc. can be included in the community HOA. This is one lump sum that you can pay each month with no extra hassle.
CONS - An HOA can
- Come at a price. The more deluxe the building and the more amenities it has, the higher the HOA fees will be. Also, if a major expense comes up and there aren’t enough reserve funds to pay for it, the association may charge additional fees to fix it.
- Mean lots of restrictions. Things like your choice of exterior paint color, or the number of vehicles parked in front of your home can be regulated by the HOA.
- Result in Legal Action. We’ve recently heard of communities that have found defects with their community and that can result in a couple of scenarios. First, the HOA does an assessment and imposes an additional fee that every member of the community has to pay. Second, the HOA sues the builder resulting in legal action that can make it almost impossible to sell your home while it’s going on. These legal entanglements can sometimes last up to two years!
The bottom line is KNOW BEFORE YOU BUY! Each community has its own set of rules and regulations set by the HOA. So, carefully read all the HOA regulations to see if it’s right for you. If you’re interested in a certain home and curious to see if the community is part of an HOA, give a member of the BHURDinUtah Team a call.