To live with a HOA, or not to live with a HOA, that is the question… The truth is, living with a Home Owners Association in Costa Rica is all about personal preference. Below are some pros and cons of HOAs to help you make a decision when purchasing property in Costa Rica.
If you hate maintaining a yard or garden, you will definitely need to purchase a condo. The HOA will make sure the lawn is mown, flowers are planted, pests are controlled, and the trash is picked up. As well as any other landscaping duties. If you end up purchasing a property and are not planning on staying in Costa Rica full time, it is convenient to have your landscape taken care of. This way, you do not come home to an overgrown jungle!
Exterior Home Maintenance
Particularly in a condo complex, the HOA will repair the roof, the exterior walls, replace external lights and take care of the exterior paint on the building. This is a major weight off the homeowners shoulders. The only maintenance the owner has to worry about is the interior of their home.
Many HOA developments here in Costa Rica include swimming pools, tennis courts, golf courses, playgrounds, beach clubs, and gyms in their communities. The best part is that you won’t have to maintain any of it! Paying HOA fees covers the costs of all these amenities. This is perfect for those looking to have recreation and social options right within their community.
Do you dread conflict and confrontation? Then a HOA is perfect for you! If you have an issue with a neighbor, you simply let your HOA know and they will mitigate and handle the situation. There is no need for you to directly contact your neighbor about any unsavory topics.
Most gated and guarded communities in Costa Rica have a HOA. This adds a lot of security and value to your property. The HOA is in charge of the security service, the fencing around the community, and maintenance of the entrance.
Nothing is for free…oftentimes the HOA fees are not cheap! The more amenities and perks that are offered, the steeper the price you end up paying. HOA fees in the Playa Hermosa and Playa del Coco area range from $100 to $1400 A MONTH! These fees can be a large part of the monthly cost of owning a condo in Costa Rica. Be sure to find out what the fees cover before making any decisions.
Say goodbye to your dreams of a pink home… HOA’s often have very meticulous guidelines in regards to homes’ exteriors. Some HOA’s even have regulations on what style of roof tiles you can use or what building methods you employ. When choosing to build a home in a community with a HOA you must be very mindful of the regulations they have in place.
Not only are there regulations for the exterior of your home but also plenty of other various rules and restrictions. Such as the number of pets allowed, what can be placed on the balcony, or where you can hang your laundry. You also may not be allowed to wash your car in the driveway or have too many guests over. If you don’t like to abide by rules a HOA may not be for you…
Since there are many rules and regulations about the exterior of your property, a HOA can cause a development to look monotonous or “cookie cutter”. The buildings will all have a uniform look and style. There is not much room for uniqueness and individuality. This usually the case for a condominium project.
Who’s in charge? A HOA can be efficient and professional or a disorganized disaster. If the HOA is mismanaging money or the community, many problems can arise. It is important to stay on top of your HOA or become an active member to make sure it is being governed properly.
All in all, depending on your needs an HOA can be good or bad. Weighing all your options and deciding what route will work best for you is the key to a happy purchase. If you have any questions or need any assistance please reach out and I will be happy to help!
More helpful resources:
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- Frequently asked questions about Costa Rica
- Costa Rica property listings