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Everything You Need to Know About HOAs — Are They Worth It?

About HOAs

Everything you want to know about HOAs in Northern Virginia!

An HOA is an organization in a subdivision, planned community, or condominium building that makes and enforces rules for the property and its residents. By purchasing a home within the HOA’s designated area, you are automatically members of that HOA. If you purchase a home within an HOA, you are automatically required to pay the dues required by the HOA and the community where you purchase a home.

Some associations may be more restrictive than others about what you can do in the community and what you can’t do when you reside within the community.

What Are Typical HOA Fees in the Northern Virginia Area?

HOA fees throughout Northern Virginia will vary based on the type of home you choose to live in. However, HOA fees are usually far lower than condominium fees, making the fees that you pay in exchange for the services you receive relatively minimal. HOA fees are usually paid monthly or quarterly, with some association boards passing and requiring an additional monthly or annual payment to cover emergency repairs or disaster funds.

Sometimes, you can expect a small increase in HOA fees from year to year, but these increases are usually quite small.

Most community HOAs in the Northern Virginia area will run between $200 and $400 per month. However, some luxury communities in the area with HOA fees as high as $1,000 to $10,000 per month.

What are the Pros & Cons of HOAs?

There are both good and bad sides to living in a community with an HOA. In the end, a lot of it will come down to lifestyle when you determine if a community with an HOA is right for you. The key is to understand the rules of the community before you purchase a property there to ensure that you can abide by the rules set forth by the HOA.

The following are some pros and cons to consider when purchasing a home within an HOA:

Pros of an HOA

  • The following are the pros of living in a home where there is an HOA:
  • They set and enforce a set of community rules for all residents
  • HOAs can help protect the values of properties within the community
  • The HOA can provide services, amenities, and facilities for residents to use
  • The HOA offers the ability for homeowners to participate in self-governance
  • These are some plus sides of having an HOA in place, as they can help keep your community a desirable place to live and keep your property values rising.

Cons of an HOA

  • There are also some cons to living in a home where there is an HOA:
  • There are set fees, dues, and assessment fees that homeowners must pay
  • The HOA imposes a set of restrictive regulations
  • Some HOAs may operate inefficiently which can make life challenging for residents
  • Sometimes HOAs are managed in a childish or inept way

For people who are uninterested in paying the dues, fees, and assessments required, or wish not to have any restriction placed on them, homes where their HOAs might not be the best for their lifestyle. Poorly run HOAs can also be a challenge for residents who live in one of the properties the HOA manages.

Is a Home with an HOA Right for Me?

It will depend largely on your lifestyle and your willingness to abide by the rules and regulations set by the HOA. Be sure to always read the rules of the HOA carefully before you purchase a home in an area where an HOA is active. Once you understand what the expectations of the HOA are, you can make a more informed decision as to if your lifestyle fits within the guidelines and requirements for the HOA where you want to move.

For more information on if moving into a community that has an HOA is right for you, please feel free to contact us at MMK Realty LLC for more information.

To learn more about MMK Realty visit our About Us page. For more tips and information feel free to contact me and follow me on social media on Facebook @mmkrealtyllc, Twitter @MMKRealtyLLC, and Instagram @mmkrealty. Also check out our Free Market Analysis. Sign up today and we will email you a free custom assessment of the current value of your home performed by MMK’s Principal Broker, Michelle Williams.