Understanding Single Family HOA’s: The Fine Print
Considering local HOA management? Confused with process details? Learn what to expect from beginning to end with our guide.
Did you know that around 58% of US homeowners live in HOA properties? While you do pay fees, they often provide a much higher standard of living. But did you know that not all HOA homes are condos and apartment complexes?
Single-family HOA’s are becoming more popular and valuable. Read on as we help you understand the single-family HOA.
What Is an HOA?
A homeowners organization (HOA) is an organization focused on maintaining the property and enhancing its worth. This is always done in housing communities, such as groups of townhouses, condos, and single-family homes. An HOA will also maintain the rule and regulations that provide a better standard of living for those under their care.
Very often, the job of an HOA will extend further than managing the living space themselves. They may stretch to onsite facilities like gyms, pools, and parks, or green areas. They will make sure these areas are covered by insurance and are safe for use.
Hoa fees can vary wildly. This depends on the type of group you are in, its value, and the level of service they provide. For example, expect to pay more to an HOA that has pool and park facilities than one that just manages the buildings.
Some places may charge quarterly, while others monthly. Across the country, the average fees are $170 a month. Some of the expenses they may go towards are the following:
- Maintaining building exteriors
- Management of walkways and shared corridors
- Legal documents and insurances
- Trash removal
- Laundry room management
- Pool cleaning
- Park and recreation maintenance
Single Family HOA
Homeowners associations are often thought of as people who run common interest developments that share a living space, such as condos, apartment complexes, and townhomes. However, they can also cover standalone homes.
Single-family homes with common interest developments started in the eighties. They were popular because they gave the benefits of both worlds. You had the freedom and privacy of a townhouse, but an HOA to keep the rules and maintain the look of the area.
Each community has its own set of rules and HOA fees. They involve keeping the colors and look of the houses the same and stopped additional buildings that would destroy the aesthetics of the development. This ensures that no decision by one person could impact the property values of the others.
What Do HOA Fees Cover in a Single-Family Property?
Single-family homes do not often have common walkways and corridor spaces, so you don’t pay for this. They generally have lots of open, green spaces. These could include parks and general grounds.
You may even find they have recreation facilities like pool areas, tennis courts, and golf courses, all of which should be covered under the single-family HOA fee. This will also include any payments to city services including trash removal and sewage bills.
One of the major benefits is that an HOA will look after the exterior of your home. As well as lawn care, any damage to the facade or roof is covered under HOA fees. As these can often be very expensive home improvements, it makes the cost more than worthwhile.
What Happens When You Don’t Pay Fees?
Being part of an area run by a single-family HOA means you also have to abide by the rules and regulations set out. You must also contribute your fees each month.
Failing to do either of these may result in warnings. Violation notices that are then infringed upon further may be followed by fines. The final step is litigation, though by that time most people would have realized common interest developments are not for them and would have moved on.
What Are My Obligations?
When you consider buying into an HOA, ask to look at the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions. This sets out all the rules of the community in fine detail. If they are not for you, then you should not buy the property.
Many of the problems come when people have not read those rules fully. They expect that when buying the property, they have free reign to do with it as they like. This is not always the case and through accident or design, it often leads to conflict.
When you do buy the property, you enter into the HOA agreement. This also gives you a say in who the HOA board of directors is. You can campaign to be elected to this or even vote the board out should you wish.
Benefits of a Single-Family HOA
The purpose of an HOA is not to enforce dominance with rules. It is to create a harmonious living space, and they very often do this successfully. When you are in an HOA, you can expect a sedate, pleasant living experience.
Some people also believe they can increase the value of your home. Even if they don’t, not having noisy neighbors and a well-maintained neighborhood can definitely make it more appealing to buyers.
Buying an HOA Property
When buying into an HOA property you should factor the fees into your financing. Any mortgage lenders will be likely to do this as well. This could impact the amount of mortgage you are able to afford, so make sure you shop around with different lenders before signing.
Finding a Property
Now you know the benefit of a single-family HOA, you need to find a property with one. Speak with a quality real estate agent to discuss your needs. They may know properties in the area with HOA management in place.
If you are thinking of getting your HOA managed, then VerraTerra Real Estate management should be your first stop. We can buy, sell or manage any of your properties. Contact us today and let us take the burden of management from you.