When looking at homes for sale in St. Louis and St. Charles County, Missouri you may notice “association fees” in the listing details. So what are these association fees? They are monthly or yearly dues to the homeowner’s association for the community where the home is located.
What is a homeowner’s association?
A homeowner’s association (HOA) is an organization within a planned community that creates and enforces rules for homeowners within the community. They are usually setup as 501(c)(4)organizations that collect dues to be distributed to maintain the community. If you purchase a home in the community, you automatically will be responsible for paying the association dues.
What does a homeowner’s association do?
Homeowner’s associations oversee and enforce a community’s covenants as well as assist in maintaining the quality of the community. This can include but is not limited to: maintaining common areas, sidewalks, streets, community clubhouse, community pool and playground equipment. They hire and distribute funds to the contractors that do the work. Also the association has to purchase and maintain insurance for community amenities covered by the HOA.
According to the Foundation for Community Association Research, “the number of Americans living in HOAs is on the rise, growing from a mere 1% in 1970 to 1 in 4 today.” So they have become quite common as a way for communities to be maintained and keep home values at a premium.
How are homeowner’s association fees determined?
The board of directors of a homeowner’s association determines the amount of the fees. They do this by determining the projected annual expenses of the association and dividing by the number of homes. Board members are usually homeowners from the community that volunteer and do not profit from HOA fees. In fact, they too will have to pay the HOA fees sometimes called assessments or maintenance fees.
How do I find out what a homeowner’s association covers for a community?
Each association has its own unique rules and policies. If you are planning to buy a home in a community that has a homeowner’s association, it’s important that you read the community’s covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs) and bylaws. If the listing agent doesn’t provide these with the listing documentation, be sure to request them so that you know before you buy.
Generally homeowner’s associations offer a benefit to those living in the community. Combined funds keep the community maintained, home values up and offer the option to have a swimming pool, tennis court or other benefits that an individual homeowner may not be able to afford and maintain on their own. The Boehmer Team has helped many homebuyers who found the home of their dreams in a community with a homeowner’s association. In addition we’ve helped many sellers living in HOA communities sell their homes. We know the in’s and out’s of HOA’s and are ready to help you with your real estate needs even if they involve a homeowner’s association.