Homeowners Associations – What to Expect
You decide it’s time to buy a home and start looking. You’re excited and can’t wait to find the perfect place. More than likely, your search will start online. Soon enough you will probably be contacting a real estate agent to show you some of the places that interest you. At this point, it would be a good idea to have as much knowledge as possible when it comes to making the most significant financial decision you will ever make. Not only do you have to consider the cost of the property using the list price or whatever price you can negotiate, but also several other expenses. These include taxes, insurance payments, maintenance, and homeowners association costs if the property is a member of a HOA.
HOA’s include two basic things, covenants/restrictions and dues. The dues are the responsibility of the homeowner and can be relatively cheap or can be rather staggering. Overall, HOA costs can range anywhere from a couple hundred dollars a year to thousands of dollars per quarter. This all depends on the services provided by the HOA and the type of community.
Please keep in mind that the price you pay for a house does not include the other expenses listed above, especially the HOA dues. If you want to move forward and buy a place which is a member of a HOA, you should also know that Virginia law allows you to terminate your sales contract prior to closing on the sale if you remain in compliance with the terms of the contract.
The seller is required to provide the buyer with a copy of the HOA Disclosure Packet prior to closing. The buyer then has a 3-day period to review this packet and terminate the contract.