When you purchase a home, there’s a good chance you’ll have to pay a homeowners association fee, especially in gated communities, townhouses, condominiums, and other similar planned neighborhoods. The idea is to keep common areas clean and maintained, and there’s usually an HOA board that is responsible for setting the rules and regulations.
Each HOA is different, but most have the same core elements. You’ll typically pay your HOA fees either monthly or annually, and it’s an important factor to consider when you’re weighing your options for a new home. So what is typically included in your HOA fees?
First, the fun stuff Amenities are typically the big perk of living in a community with an HOA. While you lose out on some of the freedom of living without an HOA, you instead get community amenities like a maintained pool, gym, clubhouse, tennis courts, and other amenities. The HOA fees pay for cleaning and maintenance, so-in theory-you’ll always have a clean pool whenever you want to use it.
Protecting the community HOA fees often contribute to insurance for the community amenities, as well as a fund for unexpected repairs to damaged community property-think damage from weather or accidents.
General maintenance Your HOA fees will go toward maintaining the general safety and upkeep of the community. This means things like elevator maintenance for condominiums, snow removal, and trash/recycling services.
Be active in the association There may be a board of directors, but homeowners associations exist for the betterment of the entire community, and every voice matters. HOA meetings-and the amenities they support-provide great opportunities to meet your neighbors and make your community a better place.
Condos for Sale in Contra Costa County
Can’t seem to create a living room that feels quite right? Looking for some styling tips that will bring your living room up a notch? Here are five ideas that can dramatically improve your living room.
- Move the furniture away from the walls. The tendency is to place your furniture against the walls, but giving it a little room to breathe will make the seating area seem cozier while also making the room seem more spacious.
- Mix old and new pieces. Using the same furniture set to furnish an entire room can make it seem a bit sterile. Try mixing and matching different pieces and styles to give your living room a more eclectic feel.
- Keep everything low. Arranging photos and artwork lower on walls will make a room appear larger, and can also draw more attention to the pieces themselves.
- Place a bookshelf behind the sofa. It doesn’t have to be your entire personal library. Mix and match books with knick-knacks and other items to add some depth and texture to the space behind your sofa.
- Try a smaller coffee table. Your current coffee table is probably larger than it needs to be, and it may be dominating the room. Try downsizing to a table that can still hold magazines, a centerpiece, and a few drinks, but will also give you a bit more room to move around your furniture.
With low inventory in many markets throughout the country, many homeowners are afraid to sell their homes because they’re concerned that they may not be able to find a new one. This can be a real problem, but if you are seeking to sell-either to upgrade or find a new neighborhood-there are a few ways to combat the low inventory.
1. Look to buy first
In most markets it is a real mistake to put your home up for sale before you start looking for your new property. Identify the geographic area where you are interested in buying. Even if you don’t see anything on Zillow, it doesn’t mean you can’t or won’t find the right home.
2. Think outside the box
Be proactive! Keep in mind that there are probably many people like you who want to make a move but are afraid as well. Have your real estate agent send a letter to the neighborhoods in the geographic areas where you want to live. The letter should be heartfelt and personal while announcing that you are ready to buy a home in that neighborhood. You could find a home to buy that may not even be currently listed or for sale.
3. Protect yourself legally
Each state varies in how the purchase process is conducted. Talk to your real estate professional about adding a clause in the purchase contract for the home you are selling that will enable you to not sell the home if you cannot find a suitable home to buy.