Oh Boy.

Living in a 55 Plus Community means coming to terms with living in an HOA.  Heck, for the most part, living in Arizona is going to mean coming to terms with living in an HOA.  In other parts of the country HOAs are not as prevalent, but since residential Arizona is being built largely by developers, HOAs are the dominant model of community organization here.

Most people find HOAs to be relatively benign… yes, it means you are unlikely to be able to paint your front door pink, but most don’t find this to be too much of a hardship.  If you are someone who generally plays by reasonable rules and likes others to do the same, then living in an HOA can be a good thing.

All of the homes in PebbleCreek are governed by the HOA rules….  the Villas also have an additional HOA.  When considering moving in to a community, it is important to learn what the HOA Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs) are and to realistically determine if you can live within their constraints.  You can find the PebbleCreek HOA documents here.

All HOAs are not the same.  When comparing communities, here are some questions to ask:

  1. What are the annual HOA fees?  (Here in PebbleCreek, as of this writing, they are $1,224 semi-annually)
  2. What do those fees pay for? (Ours cover common maintenance, the gyms/pools and gates/patrol)
  3. How much can the fees increase each year? (see the bottom of page 40 of this document)
  4. What is the HOA transfer fee?  Who pays it?  (Here the transfer fee is $300, negotiated between buyer and seller)
  5. Are there any HOA assessements or capital improvement fees that are in addition to the annual dues? (We have two $50 fees that are paid at closing and a Community Enhancement fee, also paid at closing, equal to one year of HOA dues.)

Other HOAs may cover things like trash collection or water/sewer.  Some may have a substantially larger transfer fee.  And of course, the fees that I just quoted are as of this writing…  not forever.

For me, living in an HOA is not a hardship.  I can’t have a chicken coop .  I am unable to park my RV, if I had one, in my yard.  The car has to fit in the garage.  I am okay with all of that.  But, it is very important to know what you are getting in to BEFORE you sign the closing papers!