What is HOA? Why we pay HOA fees? What are the benefits? How to avoid HOA?

Asked by Kamukus, Dallas, TX Sat Nov 8, 2008

What does determine HOA fees amount? Property price or ......?

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My NC Homes…, Agent, Chapel Hill, NC
Wed Aug 8, 2012
HOA stands for Homeowners Association. If you buy a property that is in a development that has HOA fees, then you have no choice, you will pay these fees or they will ultimately put a lien on the property and possibly take it away from you. Some people see no benefits to paying HOA fees and so they don't buy properties where there are fees. Other like being in these types of neighborhoods, as they often offer things like pools, gyms, tennis courts, maintenance of the common grounds or exterior of the buildings etc.

If you don't want to pay these fees, it's simple don't buy in a development where there are fees. Before buying anything you should definitely find out if there are fees, if so how much, and what they cover. These neighborhoods often have all sorts of rules and regulations and their not necessarily bad but you need to know before you buy.

I would advise you to find an experienced buyer broker who can assist you and answer your questions. I've attached a link below on how do do this.
4 votes
what if when i moved in there was no homeowners association? thus the development of this was not of my choosing
Flag Wed Jan 11, 2017
Brock Lee, , New York, NY
Mon Feb 3, 2014
A few months ago my husband and I sold our home in Colorado and it was a bit difficult getting the HOA documents needed for our buyer. A family friend referred us to http://www.associationonline.com. They were a huge help in making sure we had all the right documents and the information met the state disclosure requirements. I was able to get the whole package together easily by the contract deadline. I don’t think the process could get much easier than the software and service provided by Association Online. You should visit their website or call (970)-226-1324. They’re a great help for homeowners nationwide.
2 votes
My NC Homes…, Agent, Chapel Hill, NC
Sat Oct 12, 2013
HOA stands for Homeowners Association. The amount is determined by the HOA itself in conjunction with management company overseeing the HOA and it's based on the budget required to both operate the development as well as to fund the capital reserve.

I can tell by your question that you should absolutely be working with a Buyer Broker. This won't cost you anything and will likely save you money and time. They will be a great source of information which you'll both need and want.

If you're looking at condos or townhomes you cannot avoid an HOA fee, as you don't own the outside of the building, this is owned by the HOA. If you're looking at single family homes you can avoid HOA fees, simply don't buy in an Association.

HOA fees can cover a wide variety of things, amenities such as pools, gyms, tennis courts, etc., maintenance of the exterior of the building (condos/townhomes) maintenance of the grounds, common area insurance, etc. Each HOA is different so there's no way anyone can answer your question specifically without knowing the exact development you're looking at. Most HOA determine the exact fee based on the size of the unit not the price paid, unless their all the same size in which case the fees are identical for everyone.

Do yourself a huge favor , read the link I've attached below and then start interviewing local agents to find yourself an experienced buyer broker, you'll be glad you did.
2 votes
Is there a need to pay the HOA fee for a lot only?
Flag Thu Apr 6, 2017
Mike Sullivan, Agent, Gainesville, FL
Wed Aug 8, 2012
HOA is a home owner's association. Their purpose in short is to maintain the property values in a community. The only way to avoid an HOA is to find a location where there isn't one!.....The risk here is that there is no one to control what property owners do with their property...i.e. your neighbor may place a car on jacks in your neighborhood (LOL)....there are benefits to having one, as well as limitations. Remember, all homeowners want two things, increasing property values, and secondly, low or realistic HOA fees.

Hope this helps
1 vote
Kathyw, HMO's are a racket which makes you pay twice for the same services. City Community Services and Municipal Patrols, which are paid by your municipal taxes, already do a good job, thank you very much.
Flag Mon Jun 27, 2016
There are, however, municipal bylaws that protect owners from "messy" neighbors and the like. No need for HOA's.
Flag Mon Jun 27, 2016
Furthermore, to add to my comment, when a rezoning happens and a gas station or Dollar General is parked right next to your property, after you built such a nice home, you are stuck. The only thing you can hope for is someone wants to pay you off and buy your property out for commercial purposes. Or better yet, the local county wants it for a road expansion project , and they use immenent domain to low ball your property and force you out. The overage of the dues amount that your HOA has is going into a reserve fund, probably into a bank CD or something like that, but people like you are too lazy to go to a board meeting to find out these answers. So you speculate they are using your money fraudulently. Instead of complaining, if you live in an HOA community, get on the board and make a difference.
Flag Sun Dec 6, 2015
Hey Krdssmdf maybe in your part of the country a city may maintain as you state, but when you are in an unincorporated part of a county, usually, not so. I am on an HOA board of directors, and my neighborhood was having issues because people were too ignorant or just plain lazy to follow the rules. When you have a majority of residents who built their home in a subdivision and want to keep it nice, and some others don 't, you have to enforce those rules, as the code enforcement folks only enforce what the code dictates, and if it isn't part of the code, that's not their job to get it resolved . That's where most covenants come into play. I look at the HOA as more of a first line defense to protect my property, and county code enforcement as the back up. As these real estate agents have said, home buyers should not buy into a neighborhood if they don't want these rules. But be prepared for anything and everything to be not so nice when you purchase on a county road, and you get rezoned
Flag Sun Dec 6, 2015
In review of numerous Cities and their areas with HOA's, every city researched has a 'City Neighborhood Community Service', limiting what people can and cannot do. Living like pigs, not cutting their grass, parking on streets longer than 24 hrs, building safety standards, filth and everything else you can imagine, that effects your personal wellbeing. This service is provided by the City when you pay your property taxes. For anyone living in a residential community, and paying HOA fees, is nothing more than paying for services twice, and what the mob calls; 'a protection racket'.

Do the numbers – Small 50 home community, HOA's at $40. monthly = $2,000. monthly x 12 months = $24,000. for a couple high-school kids to cut the lawns in the community areas, weekly during the summer months, and shovel the sidewalks 'if' it snows in the Winter. So who gets the unused 20,000? Answer, HOA officials. HOA's are a huge scam on the ignorant. Buying into one, is worthless, at best.
Flag Sun May 31, 2015
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Sun Nov 9, 2008

The only way to avoid HOA fees is to buy property in a community that does not have a Home Owners Association or one that has a voluntary Home Owners Association. Once you purchase in a community with a HOA you are locked into those fees established by the community.

HOA fees may include amenities you recieve by living in the community including, maintenance of common ground, roads, pools, community facilities, insurance etc. The benefits that are available vary from one community to another. You should check with your association to find our the specifice of coverage.

There are rules and guidelines that are also associated with an HOA that are intended to protect the rights and property of those people that live in the community. These also vary between communities.

Before buying a property we recommend to our customers to contact the President of the HOA and/or other board members to inquire about the community history, current issues, as well as future plans for the community.

We hope you find this information to be helpful.

Best wishes,
The "Eckler Team"
Michael Saunders & Company

2008 Five Star Award for Outstanding Customer Service
1 vote
Debra B Albe…, Agent, Port St Lucie, FL
Sun Nov 9, 2008
HOA is the Home Owners Association. It has a Board of Directors with annual meetings that residents attend and vote. They are responsible for the common amenities in a community such as all common property, pool and more. When buying in a community, you have by contract (in Florida) 3 days to review the Homeowners Association Documents and make sure that you are aware of all rules and regulations and are willing to abide by them. Some HOA's have only common grounds...othrs have total building maintenance including building insurance. I hope this helps. Debbie Albert, Coldwell Banker Residential
1 vote
Desiree Lapin, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Tue Mar 15, 2016
A Homeowner Association (HOA) is an organization that is put together by a planned development such as a housing subdivision or gated community. These organizations form after the planned development has been built and apply to condos, town houses, and single family homes. Owning a home that is a part of a HOA can be a benefit to a home owner for a number of reasons. HOA's offer home owners the assurance of a well-maintained community, in addition to community amenities shared by all home owners within an HOA such a pool, spa, tennis courts, etc. The reason for HOA fees is so the Homeowner Association has funds to maintain a community to a set of standards that homeowners can enjoy. For more information on the benefits of an HOA, have a look, here: http://www.desireelapin.com/homeownerassociation/
0 votes
Brian1108, Home Buyer, New York, NY
Sat Jan 9, 2016
Its just like paying more taxes.
0 votes
Sahar Samadi…, Agent, Houston, TX
Mon Jan 27, 2014

An HOA is a Home Owner's Association. The association assists with maintaining and improving that property and others in the same group. The fee is paid either monthly or yearly. If owners of property belonging to a homeowners' association do not pay the required monthly (sometimes annual) fees as well as any special assessments, the homeowners' association can foreclose on the delinquent homeowner. Prospective homebuyers should always inquire as to whether the property they are interested in has HOA fees before committing to buy it because these fees can affect a homeowner's ability to afford the property. HOA fees can vary widely depending on factors such as community amenities and how effectively the reserve fund is managed.
0 votes
Ldchama11, Home Buyer, New York, NY
Sat Oct 12, 2013
can hoa add fee on the bugde to purchase apts.
0 votes
chlarsonce, Home Buyer, Ogden, UT
Wed Feb 6, 2013
What is the legality of HOA
0 votes
Josh Candie, Home Buyer, Olympia, WA
Wed Aug 8, 2012
HOA is kind of management corporation, their actual work is performing managment related operations for board members from several residential communities. If you get house for rent under HOA then you have to pay them for maintaining the bilding, cleaning and for over all services they perform. There are many benefits in HOA but few of the managment company has several restrictions.
0 votes
Dana Schuster, Agent, Slidell, LA
Sun Nov 9, 2008
if your HOA is legally incorporated,they may be able to place a lien against your property for failure to pay HOA fees or for covenant violations.
0 votes
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