Buying a home is a big milestone in life. It’s probably one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make. It can also be one of the most exciting and nerve-racking! You can avoid anxiety and buyer’s remorse by making sure you’re informed about certain factors that are part of home buying – whether you’re buying a home in a homeowners association or elsewhere. When you’re in the house hunting process, be sure to ask about the following to avoid any surprises to your budget.
Posted by: Trulia
Budget Smarter: Factor in These 8 Home Costs Before You Buy
- Property taxes
These are usually paid twice a year, but property tax laws vary state by state and even by county. Local governments can choose to hike these taxes to cover city or county expenses. And if you renovate your home or make other improvements that increase its value, you’ll also probably see your property taxes rise.
- Homeowners’ insurance
This varies by state and region as well. Depending on where you live and what kind of coverage you buy, insurance can run from about $500 to $1,500 a year. It helps to bundle your homeowners’ insurance with other types of insurance, such as auto and life, as many companies offer discounts for doing so.
- Hazard insurance
This entails insurance coverage for earthquakes, floods, or hurricanes, depending on your location. Don’t forget to add these to your budget — and check them all out, even if you think you don’t need them.
- Condo, co-op, or homeowners’ association fees
If you own a condo, co-op, or townhouse, you’ll pay an annual or monthly fee to maintain the building and grounds. Single-family homes may also have homeowners’ association dues if they’re located in a particular neighborhood or subdivision with common property. If you purchased in a gated community with security guards, a swimming pool, clubhouse, playground, tennis courts, and so on, you’re likely to incur regular expenses for those amenities.
One of the most important questions to ask when moving into a homeowners association, is “can I live with that?” For example, if the rules and regulations state that you cannot have a dog over 25 pounds, but you love large dogs, are you okay with not being able to have one as a pet? Or, what if you’re wanting to live in your new home for only a few years, then rent it out as an investment? You’ll want to make sure the Association allows renters.
If you’re considering living in a homeowners association, be sure to request a copy of the CC&Rs, bylaws, and rules and regulations so there are no surprises once you move in. Being a part of a homeowners association community can be great for many reasons, such as providing a higher level of quality living, access to amenities, community uniformity, and the opportunity to be an active part of your neighborhood.
Ultimately, you should value where you live and feel valued living there.