Did you buy a house in Dallas, TX? If so, you're likely familiar with the usual ongoing costs associated with it, such as mortgages and insurance.
But what about HOA fees?
These fees come into play if you've bought a house in an HOA community. If this community has shared areas, the cost of maintaining them will fall on the HOA.
Want to know more about what these fees involve? This quick guide will cover the basics and let you know what you're paying for!
What Is an HOA Fee?
HOA fees are fees assessed by your homeowners association to pay for the services it provides. You usually pay them every month. The HOA will use the money it gets to improve the quality of life in the community.
These fees can go toward a lot of different things. For instance, they cover the upkeep of common areas in the community, such as parks. HOA may also pay for trash removal, pool maintenance, neighborhood get-togethers, etc.
These fees may also cover building maintenance. This is particularly common in townhouse communities with shared walls. Major projects cost a lot, so the HOA may want to set aside some money to prepare for them.
Determining HOA Fee Amount
Homeowners association fees can vary depending on your location and available HOA amenities. A small townhouse may set you back a few hundred dollars a month, but an oceanfront condo will charge much more.
Keep in mind that HOA fees aren't static. Depending on the needs of your HOA neighborhood, fees can go up each year. Take a look at the board meeting minutes to see how often your HOA is raising rates.
Special Assessment Fees
Beyond regular fees, your HOA board can institute special assessments. In general, the purpose of these assessments is to cover unexpected costs. They can also help build up the community's reserve fund.
A special assessment can be a one-time charge or an ongoing cost. In either case, this will be an extra charge alongside monthly HOA fees. An HOA board doesn't need to poll residents before authorizing these assessments.
Managing HOA Fees
Is your home in a neighborhood where being in an HOA is necessary? If so, there's no way to get out of paying HOA fees. If your HOA is voluntary, you can avoid fees by not using optional community amenities.
If you're struggling to pay your fees, you can negotiate with the HOA board. Chances are, they could put you on a payment plan. If you're in arrears for too long, though, your HOA has the power to put a lien on your home.
HOA Fees Made Easy
There's no doubt about it: HOA fees are the worst part of living in an HOA community. That said, they're still an essential part of maintaining your neighborhood. The above guide will let you know why!
Do your HOA fees seem too high for what you're getting? At your next HOA meeting, suggest hiring a management firm to assist in financial matters. Our HOA management experts at PMI Alliance are waiting for your call!