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The Difference Between Condo & Home HOA Fees

You're at that stage when you can move out of your apartment and buy your own place, but you don't know if a condo or a single family home is right for you. Both options have pros and cons, but if you're trying to decide which HOA option is best for you, here is some information about the similarities and differences of condo HOA fees and home HOA fees.

Condo HOA fees are a set monthly expense you'll pay to cover the maintenance of your unit, community amenities, landscaping, water, sewage and trash. These fees cover both the maintenance and appearance of your individual unit and the community as a whole. A HOA is comprised of board members who can raise or lower the monthly fee. All condo owners within your community will pay the same amount. Condo HOAs are more restrictive to what you are and aren't permitted to do to your condo. Though you give up your freedom to customize the appearance of your condo, your HOA fees will cover such things as fire insurance, plumbing, electrical and structural damage, water, utilities and complex security. Most of these are additional expenses you'll have to pay should you decide to purchase a home.

Single family home HOA fees are also set monthly fees you'll have to pay if part of a subdivision or master planned housing community. But unlike condo HOA fees, the fees for subdivision HOAs only cover the maintenance of community amenities, not your home. The community amenities you'll pay for are the same as with condo HOAs and include pools, landscaping for public areas, community centers, etc. Since homeowner HOAs won't cover your house, you'll be left footing the bill for any alterations or repairs done on your home or yard. Single family HOAs allow a greater freedom to what homeowners can do to their homes and yards, but most have restrictions on paint color, noise limits and front yard upkeep. While condo HOAs cover fire insurance, utilities and building maintenance, single family home HOAs don't but are additional expenses that you as the homeowner is responsible for.

When using HOAs to decide whether to buy a condo or a home, it comes down to how much control and freedom you want. Though condo HOAs cover expenses a homeowner would have to pay out of pocket, homeowners have the option to customize their home and enjoy community amenities. If you would like more information about condo and home HOAs, contact your real estate agent in La Jolla.


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