Don't like your local HOA? Most people would tell you to join the club. It may come as a surprise to learn that most folks actually don't dislike their HOA.
Still, your HOA community can occasionally be run by insufferable Karens and micromanaging busybodies. They may nag you about your lawn or that boat in your backyard. And that's not even acknowledging HOA fees!
Many discover that their HOA fees seem to climb year after year, seemingly without a commensurate value proposition. Should you keep paying them?
Join us as we discuss whether HOA fees are worth it.
What Are HOA Fees For?
The first question is whether the HOA life offers you anything worthwhile in return for your money. After all, the average national payment for HOA fees amounts to $191 per month. Most often, fees go to the following:
- Gate and security maintenance
- Local parks and community commons
- Sanitation services
- Snow removal
- Pest control
Living in an HOA can sometimes come with luxury perks. Some HOA organizations build pools, clubhouses, gyms, and entertainment centers. Make sure to double-check with your HOA to ensure you are benefiting from everything they have to offer.
At the end of the day, HOA life is meant to make positive changes in your neighborhood. HOA meetings try to manage these funds as best they can to improve and build your corner of the globe.
What Happens If You Don't Pay Them?
First and foremost, you won't have any say at HOA meetings. You'll get notices about your late dues and may suffer late fees. There could be legal consequences depending on the agreement you made and local laws.
You may owe the fees no matter what in certain states. Should they fail to collect them from you, then they'll hire a collections agency. In extreme situations, they could put a lien on your property or foreclose your home.
In most cases, though, you lose access to HOA-based privileges. That means you may have to handle your trash removal or be disinvited from the fitness center. Once you pay the fees, things will go back to the way they were before.
Are They Worth It?
A better question would be what you value as one of the many HOA homeowners. Do you want to be part of a strong community, and to improve said community? If your answer is yes, then think of HOA fees as a way to "pitch in" for a greater local cause.
When there's a problem with your HOA, it's not usually because of the fees. Rather, community challenges such as fractious communication or unclear expectations. Instead of reneging on fees, you can solve these problems and thus strengthen your sense of community.
Manage Properties with PMI
HOA fees sometimes seem like a burden without any benefit. It's important to recognize them as a means of improving your community. Most of the issues can come to a resolution by burying the hatchet with other HOA homeowners and clearing up any confusion.
PMI helps to build stronger communities and associations. Check out our association management services.