If you’ve ever been shopping for houses before, it’s likely that you will have come across a home that is a part of a homeowner association. In fact, Americans have a one in five chance of buying a home that is a part of an HOA. However, those who are less familiar with homeowner association management services may be less eager to buy houses that are a part of HOAs. This is largely due to inaccurate perceptions regarding HOAs and what they actually do. HOAs don’t just manage traditional single family homes but condos as well, and the lack of knowledge about the services they offer has lead many people to miss out on potentially amazing homes.

Below, we’re going to demystify HOAs. Not only do homeowner association management services offer you the ability to access amazing homes; they also give homeowners access to a variety of other services. Why pass up the opportunity to live in a great community just because you don’t know much about HOAs? Let’s get you up to date on what happens if you live in a home that is managed by an HOA.

What Is an HOA?

First thing’s first: what is an HOA, and how does it function? An HOA is essentially an organization that sets and enforces rules for both planned communities full of single family homes and multi-unit buildings like condos or townhouses. The HOA is responsible for ensuring that all regulations that they set are followed, and by buying into one of the communities that an HOA presides over, you automatically become a member of the HOA itself.

With your membership, you will agree to both abide by the rules and regulations mentioned above and pay membership dues. These dues are usually referred to as HOA fees. HOA fees can be used for a variety of different purposes and can range in their amounts. But generally speaking, you can expect to pay more for townhouse and condo HOA fees than single family home community HOA fees, simply because there are more homeowner association management services expected to be applied to multi-unit complexes.

How Much Do HOA Fees Cost?

The amount you will pay in HOA fees does range, depending on a number of different factors. These factors can include where your home is located, how much it cost, and the different homeowner association management services that can be applied to those homes. Typically, most homeowners will pay somewhere around $200 to $300 in HOA fees, but technically speaking an HOA fee could be less than $100 or more than $1,000. These fees will usually correspond to the overall value of your home, community, or complex.

What Is Covered Through HOA Fees?

While you may initially be hesitant to become a member of an HOA because of the fees involved, there are actually a number of benefits that come from those fees. These fees move to cover either regular maintenance costs than you would need to pay for anyway, or they cover amenities that not only add value to your home but improve your general enjoyment of your community.

For example, in planned communities filled with single family homes, HOA fees may pay for amenities like pools, tennis courts, and even club spaces. This way, you can enjoy a lot more about your community, and even get to know your neighbors better than you would otherwise. Rather than having to pay for these kinds of amenities out of pocket, you’ll simply pay your HOA fees every month.

Furthermore, HOA fees will also cover residential property management fees. If you have a lawn, you may not need to worry about hiring someone to cut it regularly if you work with an HOA. Meanwhile, the exteriors of multi-unit complexes may be better managed through these fees. You won’t need to find a contractor and can simply allow the board to take care of the problem for you.

Ultimately, HOAs exist to ensure that communities are more broadly appealing to buyers, and more convenient to live in.