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Considering Buying A House With An HOA? Important Information You Need To Learn About The HOA Fees

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If you are market for a condo, townhouse or a house, you may come across real estate for sale that has an HOA or homeowner association. An HOA makes rules for the people who live in the community, as well as help to maintain certain parts of the community and offer certain services. Most HOAs charge either a monthly or quarterly fee, and you cannot opt-out if you buy into a community with an HOA. Here is important information that you need to research if you are considering buying a home with HOA fees. 

How Much the Current HOA Fees Are For the House You Are Considering Buying

One of the first pieces of information you want to research is how much the current HOA fees are for the property you are considering buying. This gives you an estimate as to what your HOA fees will look like moving forward. This piece of information is required to be listed on MLS listings, so a real estate can help you find the information. 

How Much HOA Fees Have Changed Since the Home Was First Occupied

The next piece of information you should research is how much HOA fees have changed since the home was first occupied. Have the fees increased steadily over time? Have they decreased a bit over time? Have they only increased when expensive maintenance, such as re-doing the pool area, has come up? HOAs typically keep 10 years of data for fees, so they can supply you with some of this information so you can get a feel for how fees have changed. 

How Much HOA Fees Can Increase Per Year Based on the HOA Bylaws

HOA fees can only increase by a certain percentage or amount per year. The amount is not set by law. Instead, it is set by the HOA bylaws that are first written when the HOA is started. You should always read the bylaws to learn about what is prohibited in your community, what you can be fined for, and how much HOA fees can increase per year. 

What You Are Getting For Your HOA Fees and The Value of Each Item

Lastly, before you write off an HOA for having high fees, carefully look at what you are getting for your HOA fees. For example, you may be getting access to a gym and your water bill may be paid by the HOA. This reduces your water bill expense and you can eliminate your gym bill, all of which may make the higher fees seem more reasonable and affordable. 

HOA fees change from community to community and from year to year. As such, you want to take the time to carefully research the fees for a home you are considering buying to ensure you can afford both the homes and the HOA fees that may increase after you move into the real estate for sale.