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Answers to Common Questions About Homeowner Associations

Homeowners associations — more commonly known as HOAs — are neighborhood organizations that are responsible for the care and upkeep of the area, and require residents of the community to pay fees (either monthly, quarterly, or annually) to cover the costs of that care and upkeep. Not all neighborhoods have HOAs, but they’re pretty common, especially in new-build communities.

But if you’ve never lived in a community with an HOA, chances are, you have questions.

A recent article from realtor.com answered common questions about HOAs, particularly about new-construction communities, including:

How much are HOA fees? There’s no universal rate for HOA fees; instead, fees vary based on a variety of features, like the location of the community or the amenities offered. According to the article, the national average for HOA fees ranges between $200 and $400 per month, but that number can easily increase to thousands of dollars for luxury communities in highly desirable locales.
Can you negotiate HOA fees? When it comes to buying real estate, you can negotiate a lot of things, but HOA fees typically aren’t one of them. Generally, when you buy a property, you’ll pay whatever HOA fees associated with it. The one potential exception is when you’re investing in a new construction property, you may be able to negotiate a credit to cover or reduce HOA fees for a certain time period (for example, the first year of ownership) as an incentive to purchase the property.
Do you have the option to opt out of HOA fees? If you live in an area with HOA fees, you’re required to pay them. That being said, in certain communities, there may be different options or “levels” that offer access to different amenities; for example, all residents pay HOA fees, but residents that want access to the community pool will need to pay an additional monthly fee.

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