When it comes to buying condos, there is a lot to consider before you sign on the dotted line. Is the location good for you, does it offer you enough space, does the design and flow fit your lifestyle, and is the price something you’re satisfied with? While these are all important considerations, there is one other that can sometimes get pushed aside and that’s the HOA fees.
Here in the north loop Minneapolis region, buyers can expect to find all kinds of fabulous options as far as the condo inventory goes, and while pricing may seem relatively similar across the board, the HOA fees can take what seems like an affordable property and make it completely unreasonable for you.
So, what are HOA fees? What is included in them? How much is a typical HOA fee? Let’s take a closer look.
What is an HOA Fee?
For someone who hasn’t lived in a townhouse or condo before, the HOA fee is a new thing. HOA fees aren’t reserved for just the Minneapolis market; they are found all over the country. The HOA is the Homeowners Association. Each month, you will be responsible for paying an HOA fee, which is then pooled together with everyone else’s and used to keep up the common areas in the building. These fees are used for repairs and maintenance throughout the year to keep the building looking attractive and maintain everyone’s standards or quality.
What this also means is that the more common space there is, and the more amenities offered to residents, the higher the fee tends to be. As mentioned, these are collected on a monthly basis and can vary significantly depending on the building, the size of the unit, the location in the city, and even the city/town itself.
What is Included in the HOA Fee?
While each building will be different in what’s included, and you are always encouraged to ask for details before you purchase a property, in general, there are some common items that tend to be included. These include fitness rooms, the parking garage, swimming pool, landscaping, security gates, sidewalks, roofing, clubhouses, elevators, the exterior of the building, tennis courts, etc.
How Much is a Typical HOA Fee?
In terms of a typical HOA fee on a country-wide basis, the average tends to range from about $200 to $400 per month. Of course, that isn’t the case with the North Loop area, as this is a much more upscale neighborhood. Here, it’s not unusual to find fees topping $800 and more.
Can You Refuse to Pay the HOA Fees?
So what happens if you don’t want to pay your HOA fees? In this case, the HOA can actually take action against you, which may include hefty late fees, a lawsuit, a lien on the property, and in severe cases even a foreclosure.
Be Aware of the Fees Before Purchasing
While you can’t get away from HOA fees when purchasing a condo, you can be in control of how much you are willing to pay. Asking about the fees before you sign a deal will ensure that you don’t end up in a situation where you can’t afford the HOA monthly fees or you don’t feel comfortable paying what they are asking for.