Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Form an HOA of One--You!

Among our most popular posts are this having to do with Homeowners' Associations (HOA) and their evil twin, Condominium Owner Associations (COA). Okay, not really twin. Both are the necessary evils that owners love to hate.

But individual owners, whether or not they belong to an association, can take a page from the HOA book to handle repairs and maintenance. HOAs save monthly for repairs that have to be made over time.

Owners can do the same thing. Instead of ponying up all at once for, say, a $6,000 paint job, they can put $100 a month into a savings account. At the end of five years, the money's in the bank. And if owners are DIY folk, and if they use the new super-cool 25-year paint, the cost is less.

It works for appliances as well. The average life span of a furnace is 15-18 years, so why not save a little bit per month for the time when it has to be replaced? Same for water heaters, with life spans of 8-12 years. Caveats, of course, abound. For example, the furnace in our home is a 1992 vintage, ands it's running just fine. But our 7-year-old water heater died.

I used to get super annoyed with brokers who'd gleefully advertise a listing as having no HOA fees as a selling point. In fact, HOA fees are a really good savings account.

Why not form and HOA of one--you--and do as they do?