Decoding HOA Fees: What You Need to Know

Decoding HOA Fees: What You Need to Know

If you've ever looked at Washington State's HOA laws, you know that they can get a bit convoluted. It can take some serious legal expertise to understand what HOAs can and can't do.

As a home buyer considering an HOA community, one of the most important things to consider is HOA financing. What kind of HOA fees (aka HOA assessments) do different communities collect each month? What are those fees for and how can they impact your buying power?

Read on to learn everything you need to know about HOA fees as a soon-to-be HOA homeowner.

Lenders Do Consider HOA Fees

When you're looking at HOA homes around Puget Sound, always ask about the cost of HOA membership. Lenders are interested in your debt-to-income ratio, including any debt you'd take on in making a home purchase.

When you live in an HOA community, fees aren't optional, and lenders know this. Because unpaid HOA fees can result in serious legal repercussions, they will have an impact on your buying power.

HOA Assessments Increase

When you're calculating how much HOA fees impact your buying power, keep in mind that they do increase. While it can seem like Washington's HOA laws are endless, there is no law regarding assessment increases.

A well-organized HOA won't surprise homeowners with exorbitant increases. Instead, they'll hold meetings to discuss the need for increases and take the temperature of the community.

That said, if current HOA fees push you close to your maximum home buying budget, don't underestimate the impact these increases can have.

HOA Properties Have Advantages

When you're considering the cost to join an HOA community, it's important to consider the upsides, as well. When an HOA is handled well, those fees will yield neighborhood improvements, including:

  • Maintenance and beautification of shared spaces like parks
  • Maintenance of amenities like pools
  • Enforcement of HOA rules and regulations

These community efforts can raise your property value. In the long-term, you can see a return on investment in an HOA community.

Homeowners Can Get Involved

What if you don't like the idea of paying fees to an HOA board that you're not part of? HOA communities can present challenges. Homeowners can get involved to find solutions.

All HOA homeowners are welcome to attend meetings and run for the board in upcoming elections. You can also share your thoughts, ideas, and concerns throughout the year. If you want to know where your HOA fees go, there's no better way to find out than by becoming an active HOA member!

Call PMI for Puget Sound HOA Support

If you're looking at a home in an HOA community, it's important to think about HOA fees. HOA living comes with many perks, but the cost to join can impact your buying power.

If you're joining an HOA community, don't hesitate to become an active member. If your HOA could benefit from professional support, PMI can help.

PMI real estate experts provides customizable HOA management services so you can make the most of your HOA fees. Learn more about our HOA management services and let us know how we can help.