Many people who are looking for Orange County real estate shy away from properties that have homeowner associations (HOA). However, HOAs are actually beneficial for a lot of buyers who are looking to spend less time managing their home's maintenance or are looking for lifestyle amenities right outside their front door.
What Is an HOA?
A homeowners association is an organization made up of a group of residents within that community that is voted upon by the home owners in that community. Their responsibility is to govern the neighborhood or condominium complex by addressing any issues that may arise and keeping an eye on the established rules of the association. There are typically bylaws that outline standards for property care and maintenance, and residents pay monthly or quarterly dues to cover certain shared expenses within the community. Generally, the more you pay, the more benefits you receive.
Maintenance and Amenities
Depending on the development, particularly if it’s a condo, your HOA may cover exterior building maintenance, such as roof repairs, plumbing and piping, windows, and paint. These types of expenses can add up quickly. As a result, it may be worth your while to pay a smaller fee monthly to avoid large costs at one time.
Many HOAs will paint the exterior of the homes or condos in the neighborhood every 7-10 years, making the neighborhood look clean and extremely updated. This keeps property values up! Recently, many Orange County HOAs have decided to completely replace all pipes and plumbing in the homes, at no additional cost to the residents. The plan is to avoid or fix pinhole leaks which can be somewhat common in the South County area. If you undertook that project on your own, it would likely cost you thousands of dollars - maybe even more.
Most neighborhoods with HOAs offer amenities and other services for residents. Pools are particularly common in Orange County, and some even look and make you feel like you’re at the St. Regis. Many communities offer clubhouses and tennis courts and pay for landscaping and pest control. Some HOAs also offer gated communities, which is a huge selling feature that will continually build equity in your home.
If you want a low-maintenance lifestyle while enjoying high-end amenities and a sure way to keep your surroundings and property values up, a home with an HOA could be an excellent choice.
At first glance, you may be put off by an HOA that hands you a list of rules for your property. These rules can include anything from limits on the color that you can paint your home to how often you need to mow your lawn. But here’s the thing you need to remember about these rules: They also apply to your neighbors. That means you will never have to worry about the guy next door parking his rusty old car on the lawn or the eccentric lady down the street painting her house lime green. HOA rules minimize eye sores and, more importantly, ensure that your property value continues to go up.
Homes with an HOA benefit any type of lifestyle, whether you’re a busy professional or a retiree. While the monthly fee may seem like a lot of money at first, it can actually wind up being a smart investment.
If you’re ready to talk to a real estate agent and buy now, call me to start your property search. Today’s low interest rates make it a perfect time to buy in Orange County. Nichole Story (949) 375-9981