General Area in Charleston>Question Details

steve.b.hays, Both Buyer and Seller in 29464

Property values and HOA's.

Asked by steve.b.hays, 29464 Tue May 22, 2012

When I bought my house in Mount Pleasant, I was thrilled to find out that was no HOA fee (the HOA had dissolved some time in the 90's). As a Libertarian, I don't want to live in a commune or have anyone tell me what I can and can't do while charging me a monthly fee for that right to be scrutinized. I was told by a realtor that this actually HURTS property value; while I would think it would increase it, since you can buy more house for the same money since you don't have to light money on fire for the HOA and thus could afford to attack the house/mortgage directly. What gives?

Help the community by answering this question:


HOAs really cut both ways. There's no absolute answer.

On the one hand, Some people feel like you. (I pretty much do, for instance.) I lived in condos for over a decade, and disliked the pickiness and nastiness of the people running the condo association. And many HOAs are the same way. Enough folks have had bad experiences with HOAs that they (as buyers) view them as something to be avoided at all cost.

On the other hand, not all HOAs and condo associations are so heavy-handed. I live in a single-family home in the suburbs and while there's an HOA, its dues are $40 a year. It does virtually nothing except maintain some common areas and the entrance to the subdivision. And there are a couple of community events every year.

The argument in favor of HOAs is that they do maintain some uniformity. Not all houses need look the same, but you won't see one with big purple and orange polka dots. Or, perhaps more important, a well-run HOA won't permit owners to keep junk cars on blocks in parking spaces. Or it has some power if there's something illegal going on in one of the properties. So lots of buyers are willing to theoretically give up some of their freedoms, in return for which the properties and communities may be better maintained and governed.

The actual cost of an HOA shouldn't be all that much unless there are clear amenities that come along with it--a swimming pool, a club house, a gated community with a guard, park areas to maintain, etc. In that case, someone moving there has to weigh not only the house itself, but also the amenities. Are those amenities worth the price? In some cases, yes. In other cases, no.

So the argument for or against HOAs really is one of individual freedoms and liberties versus a more consistent and perhaps somewhat better maintained community.

While I wouldn't disagree with the Realtor who told you that the lack of an HOA hurts property values, it's also true that some folks--such as yourself--view an HOA as a near deal-killer. It largely depends on the individual's mindset and, to a lesser extent, on the history of the HOA and what it actually does.

Hope that helps.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue May 22, 2012
Thank you - that does make sense. I suppose if I was buying property(s) to rent out, I'd want a HOA to "nanny" my property - but it would be a deal-killer for me (and I submit, any self-governing mature adult) to have to pay for such a thing on a property that you lived in full time. Charleston National (as an example) charges $350 a year plus a mandatory $50 a month for 'social fees'. That extra $75 a month would pay for an extra, what - 20 grand on your average 15 year fixed mortgage? $20 grand will buy MY OWN POOL, IN MY OWN YARD, should I so choose to (whcih I wouldn't, but I'm just saying)
Flag Tue May 22, 2012
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Fairfax, VA
I have MANY clients this year who have purchased NEW HOMES to rent out and ONLY purchase in an HOA community. Please forgive when I say but I have 23 and 1 I live in and ONLY buy in HOA. Property values are maintaind in HOA community. In last 2 months 11 homes have sold in my community and I contracted one yesterday around the corner for me. ALL sales got 98% of asking price. As for renters it attracts higher quality tenant. One of my investors a Major USAF has purchased 4 in one year all HOA and tenants some BEFORE the house even closed. Gave him the Bonus Builders give agents into the contract/HUD to thank him for loyalty. Majority of the HOA rules are basic. No parking in Street during week park on driveway. Mow the lawn/water the lawn. Garbage pail is not a lawn ornament. Any prospect to rent finds this difficult then I don't want for a tenant.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 29, 2012
Good for you: your clients can be as dumb as you can find them. You didn't answer the question.
Flag Sat Sep 29, 2012
I have many investor clients that will not consider any properties with HOA's. Really, to place a value on the HOA you need to assess the powers the Master Deed grants the 3-5 elected members, the CCR's they can enforce, and the budgets they've been managing over a 3-5 year period.

While there are and will be many different opinions, I believe in this market that HOA's devalue a property monetarily.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 29, 2012
"light money on fire".... You are making me laugh, Steve. Thanks.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue May 22, 2012
Dear Steve,

Like many things in Real Estate, it depends.

I currently live in Old Village Landing in Mount Pleasant and we have an HOA. We have C&R's but they are not tightly enforced. Our neighbors keep up their properties and we don't worry about property values due to conditions of homes in the neighborhood. Our annual HOA dues are under $300 but we don't have any amenities.

On the other hand, if a neighborhood doesn't have an HOA and homeowners do not take care of their homes, it could negatively impact property values.

I think that the key is to stay active with the governance of the HOA if you have one so that you are happy with the rules and enforcement that are put into place and in either case to be willing to talk one on one with your neghbors when they are not maintaining their homes. Very often I have found that if someone is not taking care of things that there is something going on in their lives and they may need assistance.

I hope that this helps! Do not hesitate to contact me if I can help further.

Best regards,


Cheryll Woods-Flowers, Keller Williams
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 22, 2012
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2015 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer