Understanding Real Estate

Homeowner Associations (HOAs)

When you are searching the real estate market, you will recognize that most homes are a part of a homeowners association (HOA). HOAs have increased drastically over the years and one in four Americans live in a home that is part of an HOA. However, you may wonder if a homeowners association is right for you. Here is everything you need to know about HOAs

What is an HOA?

A homeowners association cares for the community needs of a certain neighborhood. For example, if the community roads require maintenance, the HOA covers the cost. Everyone in the community must be a member of the HOA and pay the required fees. Different HOAs charge homeowners different amounts and cover different amenities. Read through the details carefully to learn the specifics of the HOA of the community that you want to live in. 

Pros and Cons of Homeowner Associations


Houses in a homeowners association generally look better. The houses are in nicer areas with a higher quality of life. Most homeowners associations also provide services and facilities for members. HOAs finally give you the opportunity to meet your neighbors and feel a sense of community. This pride encourages people to keep the community looking nice. When problems do occur, homeowners associations also provide a way for neighbors to settle disagreements. 


The biggest disadvantage of homeowners associations is the cost. Beyond the monthly cost, you may receive charges for not maintaining your property according to their guidelines. You also must abide by their regulations which may go against what you want to do with your home. Fees can also go up. Considering only 30% of HOAs have the necessary funds, it's likely that fees can and will increase with time. 


Most single-family homes should expect to pay $200 - $300 a month in HOA fees, but the costs vary greatly on the neighborhood and the amenities. 

Possible things covered by the HOA include:

Check with your association to learn exactly what your fees cover. 


HOAs require residents to abide by certain rules. You may have to put up lights during Christmas or keep your yard looking a certain way. Learn the specific rules you will have to abide by. Also, check that your home adheres to all of the HOA regulations before you buy the house. Buying a house that doesn't meet regulations can cost you unexpected time and money.