Pop quiz! Do you understand your HOA fees? If you’re an informed member of your homeowners association, you should pass with flying colors. If you fail, well then, you need to plan a study session to brush up on your HOA knowledge.
1. What are HOA Fees?
a.) Monthly fees you pay your homeowners association
b.) Monthly fees that help cover HOA amenities
c.) Monthly fees you will get in trouble for if not paid
d.) All of the above
Answer: If you guessed (D) All of the above then you are correct! Paying your HOA fees is something you agree to when you sign your Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions, or CC&Rs.
2. What happens if you don’t pay your HOA fees?a.) The homeowners association guard dog comes after you
b.) You pay a fine
c.) You are reported to the credit bureau and foreclosed on
d.) The HOA board makes you write "I will pay my fees” one-hundred times on the white board
Answer: C. Keeping in mind that every homeowners association has its own set of rules (again read your CC&Rs!) if you don’t pay your HOA fees, then the HOA can and probably will report you to the credit bureau and/or foreclose on your house. It would be rather silly to lose your house because of not paying small monthly fees in comparison to not paying your huge mortgage payment.
3. What do HOA Fees cover?
a.) Your mortgage over a long period of time
b.) Services and amenities
c.) The annual neighborhood block party
d.) Catering at the HOA board meetings
Answer: B. Each homeowners association is different, but in general your HOA fees cover services like trash pick-up, water, landscape and lawn care, and pest control; as well as amenities like the gym, pool upkeep, and other maintenance and repairs.
4. Can the homeowners association increase my HOA fees at anytime?
c.) Maybe so
d.) Check the CC&Rs
Answer: D. By now you are probably seeing a theme – read your CC&Rs! These will tell you any and all restrictions that are in place regarding the HOA fees in the Association you’re a part of. If you have never seen this document, request a copy from your Association right away.
5. Are you paying your HOA fees?
a.) You betcha!
c.) Once in a blue moon
d.) When pigs fly
Answer: A. If you answered with a big, hearty "You betcha!” that means you’re keeping your commitment and being a respected member of the Association. However, if you aren’t able to pay your HOA fees, or think that they aren’t going toward what they should be, don’t be shy. Tell your homeowners association Board so you don’t get yourself in a pickle.
We hope you aced this quiz, but even if you didn’t, we give you a gold star for trying.
By the way, did we mention that you should read your CC&Rs? Just making sure!