Feb 13, 2024 - News

More than 1.4 million Michiganders pay HOA fees

Estimated number of HOAs, condominiums and cooperatives with fees, 2023
Data: Foundation for Community Association Research; Map: Alice Feng/Axios

With more than 1.4 million Michiganders living in housing associations across the state, many home shoppers are factoring in homeowners association fees as part of their purchase price.

Why it matters: Homebuyers looking at condos or townhomes for their lower prices might not realize HOA dues can run into the thousands annually and can change over time.

  • Planning housing communities in Michigan report assessing more than $2.1 billion annually as of 2021, the latest data available.

Between the lines: Prospective buyers will come across HOA fees on many new properties in Brush Park or Corktown. They cover maintenance to keep the community looking nice and, sometimes, amenities like pools and gyms.

Be smart: Condo buyers should pay close attention to the building's age, condition, location and finances, Clare Trapasso with Realtor.com tells Axios.

  • "If they're buying [in] an older building that doesn't have much in its reserve fund to pay for emergencies, and the building floods frequently or the elevator gives out, then each individual condo owner may see their monthly HOA fees go up," says Trapasso, the company's executive news editor.

What's next: If your dues change, the association board should report that in the community newsletter, website, notices or meetings, according to Thomas M. Skiba, CEO of the Community Associations Institute.

  • Condo fees don't typically go down, unless a special assessment — extra fees charged under unforeseen circumstances — ends or the building gets an influx of cash, Trapasso says.

What's more: Higher monthly fees have similarly pushed up the price of renting.

  • Many renters are being hit with charges for trash pickup, pest control and moving, on top of security fees.

Go deeper: How much owning a single-family home really costs in the U.S.

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