HOA stands for home owner's association. Their role is to enforce certain CCNR's (covenants, conditions, and restrictions), in addition to collecting dues to pay for certain types of maintenance. Condominiums, townhomes, and some single family houses have HOA's. HOA's will use collected dues to maintain yards, common areas, and sometimes structural repairs. Some HOA dues will cover water, sewer, garbage, and cable, while others only cover maintenance or any combination of the aforementioned. Always check the HOA's budget and the building condition before you consider purchasing, especially if considering a condominium or townhome. For example; if the HOA decides to replace all of the windows, siding, or both, and the cost is $100,000, the HOA will put a lien called a "special assessment" on each unit proportionate to the percentage of the square footage your particular unit occupies. For example; a 10 unit, 10,000 sq ft building with 1,000 sq ft units needing that same $100,000 repair would cost each owner $10,000, unless the HOA already had the cash on hand to have the repairs made.