Love them or hate them, homeowners associations seem to be here to stay. So what do these neighborhood-governing bodies really offer homeowners?
Alan Hays, a Realtor with southwest Las Vegas Realty Executives, said it varies from community to community.
According to Hays, gated communities with a pool have higher fees, anywhere from $150 to $200; non-gated communities can pay as little as $30 per month; and a high-rise homeowner could be charged $1,000 per month in HOA fees.
That high price basically gets you access to some pretty awesome amenities, he said. The pool, spa, fitness facility. Some places have a concierge service.
For the more average communities, Hays said HOA fees help to pay for the maintenance of commons areas, parks, landscaping and security. For example, Hays said the Mountains Edge community has a master-planned HOA, which sees to the maintenance of parks, while individual communities have sub-HOAs.
They take care of the communities themselves, he said. Their job is to ensure that landscaping in yards is maintained, trash isnt left in the streets, and you dont paint your house bright pink.
Hays said that while not all homeowners may be fans of HOAs, their purpose is clear.
HOAs are supposed to be built by the owners to police the owners, which ensures communities retain value in a traditional market, he said. Thats been a successful model.
Hays said most properties that were built after 1995 have an HOA.
Spanish Oaks, for example, is a higher-end community that has had a board since the 1970s, though, he said. As a general rule, most communities built before the late 1990s wont have an HOA. But that doesnt mean thats always the case.
Hays said there are benefits to living in a community with an HOA board.
The main job of the board is to ensure that nothing is done in the neighborhood that will detract from the value of your home or the neighborhood in general, he said.
Hays said some of the downsides to living in a community with an HOA revolve around the idea that you cant do what you want to with your own property.
Youre kind of at the mercy of the board, and they can choose to grant permission for changes you want to make or to be more restrictive and approve nothing, he said. It can be frustrating because it is a bureaucracy. But there is a reason these bodies exist. They are needed in many instances.
Contact Southwest and Spring Valley View reporter Amanda Donnelly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 380-4535.