DENVER - Some people refuse to buy a home in a neighborhood that has a homeowners' association. Others say they can't live without one.
Realtor Wade Perry says not all HOAs are the same, and you have to examine the pros and cons.
Amenities: Pools, tennis courts, playgrounds, public gardens, club houses, etc.
Maintenance: Snow removal or lawn service
Property Value: Rules about keeping garage doors closed, cars in driveways, no signs in front yards, etc. help keep a neighborhood clean and well maintained. That, in turn, helps maintain property values.
Sense of Community: HOAs often organize events like easter egg hunts, Fourth of July parades and holiday parties.
Big Brother: Some people may feel like they are constantly being scrutinized or even discriminated against.
Cost: Dues can run as low as $100 a year to as high as $300 a month.
Rules: They may impinge on your lifestyle.
If you are considering buying a home in an HOA, Perry suggests you ask yourself the following questions:
- Will I actually use the amenities I am paying for?
- Can I afford it? You will need to budget for those monthly/yearly fees.
- If there are extra fees/ assessments can I afford it? Review the HOA's financial reports. Find out if it has an emergency fund and how often have they had to dip into it.
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