The amount of the fees usually depends on the extent of common areas to be maintained by the HOA.
HOA's pay for exterior maintenance, landscaping, insurance, trash, sewer, and in some cases, water, roof maintenance, plumbing, and so on. If you want a low maintenance lifestyle where others are maintaining your property and its surrounding area, then having an hoa is a great thing.
If you are a do-it-your-selfer, and enjoy doing everything yourself, then an HOA community is not for you. You handle all maintenance, insurance, sewage, trash, insurance, etc yourself.
One way or another, there are certain things you are going to pay for - the question is whether you pay it through the HOA or whether you pay it separately to your own gardener, insurance carrier, etc. It's really more about the lifestyle you want and how involved you want to be with everyday home maintenance issues.
I wrote a honest, unbiased blog entitled "HOA: Totalitarian Oppressor or Protector of All That is Good? (The Pros and Cons)". You can find it on my website at http://www.mackrealestate.com!
Marcie Sands, REALTOR
Simply The Best Real Estate Co., Inc.