May 13, 2024 - News

What to know about Houston's HOA fees

Map of number of community associations per state in 2023. Roughly half of all states had fewer than 4,000 such associations. California and Florida had the most, with 50,700 and 49,800, respectively.
Data: Foundation for Community Association Research; Map: Alice Feng/Axios

With roughly 23,300 housing communities in Texas, many home shoppers need to factor in homeowners association fees as part of their purchase price.

Why it matters: HOA dues can cost hundreds or, in some cases, thousands more on top of monthly mortgage payments — creating another barrier for prospective homebuyers.

By the numbers: Nearly one-third of occupied homes in Texas were part of a homeowners association as of 2021, the latest data available from the Foundation for Community Association Research.

  • Texas associations collected nearly $8 billion in assessments in 2021.

Between the lines: HOA fees cover maintenance and amenities like pools and gyms, among other things, keeping the community running.

Be smart: Condominium 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.

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

📬 Tell us: What strict HOA rules have you dealt with? Hit reply to this email.

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