The Mysterious HOA Fee Explained
Some Edmonton communities like Terwillegar Towne, Summerside and Windermere have “home owner association” fees. An HOA fee is usually a very small fee, usually around $100 – $200 per year but it can be more depending on what is all covered. The fee usually pays for maintaining extra things that the developer put in the subdivision that are over and above what the city of Edmonton required the developer to do. This is usually done to make the development more attractive to home buyers, but it’s not stuff the city of Edmonton is willing to pay to maintain. HOA fees may include maintenance of fountains, trails, recreation facilities, a community centre and so much more.
Summerside, Edmonton (photo from Edmonton Journal)
These associations or the agreements governing them are usually registered on title by way of a restrictive covenant. Some HOA’s are proactive socially and do lots of community events, while some are just doing the minimum to maintain what they are obligated to maintain.
Recently one of our clients was contemplating not buying a home they liked because it had HOA fees, while some of the other properties listed for sale in the area didn’t have any HOA fees listed on the MLS® feature sheet. Our client wondered why some owners in an area have to pay fees and some don’t – they didn’t want to pay an HOA fee when their neighbours weren’t. In reality, everyone in the subdivision pays the fee, it just wasn’t included on the information sheets for some of the properties. One more reason to make sure you see the title for a property before making an offer.
About Sara MacLennan
Sara MacLennan is the Director of Marketing at Liv Real Estate and a licensed Real Estate Associate. The bulk of Sara’s experience and wealth of expertise lies in on-line technology and marketing both for agents and consumers. Sara is the former National Director for Interactive Marketing for Coldwell Banker Canada where she was responsible for an extensive training program traveling to offices across the country training agents and brokers on marketing and technology. Find Sara on Twitter @edmontonblogger.