Where do your homeowners association fees go?

Be sure to check out our blog about understanding homeowners association fees. There, we gave you the view from 30,000 feet, discussing in broad strokes why you pay those fees, what to expect and other basics about the HOA dues you pay when living in a housing or condo association.

Today we're going to dive down and look at the more granular details of what is generally included in these dues.

  • Basic city services. Especially in condos and townhomes, services like water, sewage, trash removal and recycling are covered by your dues.
  • Insurance costs. As a homeowner, you have to pay your individual homeowners insurance to cover damage inside your living space. Part of your monthly HOA fees go to pay the insurance for the exterior portions of the building, like the roof, the community room and so forth.
  • Regular maintenance. This includes maintaining the landscaping, regular lawn care, pool care (if applicable) and snow removal.
  • Long-term maintenance. If you think about it, there’s a lot that goes into keeping up a building. Some of the things you’re paying for include: exterior painting, paving the driveway, re-carpeting and/or remodeling the common areas, lighting in common areas, HVAC, maintaining adequate water filtration systems and more.
  • Pest control. To avoid any infestation, many associations opt to have monthly or quarterly pest inspections.
  • Reserve. Most associations have a set amount of money they are required to keep in reserve for large and possibly unexpected repairs.
  • Additional services. Some buildings have concierge services or security details, and these don’t come for free!

It’s important to note that most of these services are provided by individual vendors who may or may not be giving your association the best deal. Some association boards are content to pay the quoted price, while others chase a deal.


For those who want to ensure the long-term value of their property and sell at a high price, it’s in your interest to keep the monthly HOA low, so join the board and negotiate with vendors. It’s a great way to meet your neighbors and care for your investment.

Each association is different and it’s important that you work with a real estate agent who can walk you through the details. To learn more about HOA fees and any other facet of home ownership, contact a Coldwell Banker Hedges Realtor® today. They know the business and can answer any questions you may have.


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