Home Buying in Houston>Question Details

Ainslie, Home Buyer in Houston, TX

I see that lots of houses have annual maintenance fees, what do/can those cover?

Asked by Ainslie, Houston, TX Wed Sep 11, 2013

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Ainslie,

Jay covered most of the items the HOA dues cover. However, than can be more items and a thing called "Special Assessments" to cover expenses that have recently come up (example to repair damages after a storm). Also some, such as a town home community, might cover some yard work, upkeep on the building itself, even cable TV or electricity!

Before making an offer on any property, reach out to the home owners association or their management company and ask the question directly to them. They will be able to tell you what the fees are, when they are due and what they cover. Those items, in addition to taxes, are prorated between the buyer and seller at closing. Let us know if we can assist you.

Mark McNitt
m 832-567-4357
Bernstein Realty, Inc.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 11, 2013
Homeowners' associations, or HOAs, are formal legal entities created to maintain common areas; they have the authority to enforce deed restrictions. Many newer single-family subdivisions have HOAs, which are usually created when the development is built. Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions are issued to each homeowner, and HOAs are established to ensure that they are adhered to in order to maintain the quality and value of the properties involved.
You'll find that is common for a Homeowners' Association to handle all or some of the following:
•Establish and collect maintenance fees needed to run neighborhood operations
•Maintain community landscaping
•Maintain recreational facilities
•Provide space for events or neighborhood functions.
•Provide security
•Arrange for street maintenance
•Enforce deed restrictions including, but not limited to, exterior home maintenance, commercial use of properties, control of trash and blight.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 11, 2013
If it is a single family residence, it usually is homeowner association dues. That can cover deed restriction enforcement, sometimes maintenance of a neighborhood pool/playground, subdivision monuments, etc.

If it is a townhome/condo, it can include grounds maintenance, gate maint. (in a gated community). In a condo it often covers common area insurance, sometimes water.sewer, cable - all depends on the property. Your realtor can tell you.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 11, 2013
Each maintenance fee could vary direct questions to the companies supplying the service place on Excel spread sheet and compare differences and costs.

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1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 11, 2013
There is no set answer to that. They can cover many different things so you need to ask the real estate agent you work with to find out. Often you will see answers in a full MLS listing that your Realtor can provide you. You won't see it on the online sites though.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 11, 2013
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