So, you just moved into a homeowners association (HOA) – congratulations! Not only is your new home and neighborhood just right for your family’s needs, but the landscaping & common areas in your community are attractive và appealing. You even get to enjoy some great amenities – perhaps a fitness center, clubhouse or trò chơi room. Of course, it takes money for your community to lớn remain beautiful & well maintained. And that’s why it’s necessary for every homeowner to lớn pay association fees.HOA fees, which are sometimes called “assessment dues” or “maintenance fees,” are established by your board of directors based on a projection of the HOA’s annual budget. Since board members are also residents, they are obligated khổng lồ pay HOA fees just like everyone else in the community & don’t profit from the money they collect. Depending on your HOA, you may be expected to lớn pay those fees monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually.Although the specific needs of each HOA or condominium association vary, all associations require their members to mô tả in the community’s costs through their fees. Having a well-run community where amenities, components and common areas are regularly maintained goes a long way toward increasing your community’s property values và enhancing resident lifestyles. That said, each association will have its own rules và policies, so it’s important to lớn read your community’s governing documents.Here are 6 of the most common items your HOA fees are likely to lớn cover:

1. Utilities

“Utilities represent a significant portion of the operational budget,” says Jamina Richards, finance manager at FirstService Residential. Lighting for streets, parking lots, tennis courts, clubhouses, etc., requires electricity. In addition, a community needs water for irrigation, swimming pools và other facilities. Indoor areas also need to remain well ventilated & comfortable, whether that means providing heat on cold days or air conditioning on warm days. All of these utility costs are covered by your fees.

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2. Maintenance and repairs

Depending on your community, these expenses might include: Cleaning và painting of building exteriors và indoor common areas, such as carpets, floors và wallsPreventive maintenance of heating và ventilation systems, lighting, electrical systems, plumbing, elevators & security systemsLawn care and landscapingSnow removalTrash removalPest controlRepairs lớn walls, roads, plumbing, roofs and system componentsMaintenance of amenities, fitness equipment & pools

3. Insurance

Associations need insurance to protect common areas from damage, which you can obtain under a master policy. Your community may also require other riders và add-ons based on your location, property type and other circumstances. For example, in some areas associations are required by law khổng lồ carry flood insurance. Liability insurance, theft insurance & directors & officers (D&O) insurance are other common policies for associations. Remember that you still should have your own homeowner’s policy, even if you live in a high-rise or other type of condo association.

4. Reserve funds

Fiscally sound HOAs allocate a portion of their dues khổng lồ their reserve fund khổng lồ cover planned và budgeted major renovations or repairs that bởi not occur on a regular basis, like repaving private roads or replacing elevator machinery. According to David Jandak, vice president of finance at FirstService Residential, “If you aren’t budgeting for the future, you’ll over up with a loan or special assessment.” That translates into an additional fee each homeowner will have khổng lồ pay.

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5. Staffing

If your community employs its own maintenance, security or management staff, part of your HOA fees are used for their salaries and benefits.

6. Professional property management

To eliminate the excessive burden on board members, implement the policies mix by the board và ensure the financial stability and operational efficiency of the HOA, many communities choose to partner with a professional property management company. HOA fees pay for these services, too; however, a good management company will work to lớn save your HOA money through its vendor relationships, buying power & financial knowledge.No one wants lớn spend more money than they have to, but when it comes khổng lồ HOA fees, it’s money well spent. Remember that it’s because of those fees that your community is able khổng lồ thrive and that you & your family are able lớn enjoy all it has to lớn offer. To find out more about what it takes to have a financially healthy association, download our infographic, Keep Your Association Fiscally Fit.