The decision to buy a single-family home vs a condominium on Maui is an important one. Home buyers on Maui are turning towards condominiums- more people purchased condominiums on Maui last year than single-family homes, and the median price was significantly less.
Yet the idea of home ownership is often centered around a house than a condominium. Some buyers are concerned about HOA (home owner association) fees, and what that would add to their monthly payment. However, to make a fair comparison, one must look at what HOA fees cover, vs what a single-family homeowner must pay out of pocket.
What Are HOA Fees & How are they calculated
Condominium HOA fees are costs that are paid to the homeowners’ association whose job it is to maintain the community’s common areas. Common areas may include landscaping, outdoor spaces, recreation areas, swimming pools, tennis courts and clubhouses and more. For some condos, HOA fees may also include sewage, water, security and on some occasions, cable, electricity and internet. Typically, HOA fees also cover a building’s fire, flood and hurricane insurance.
Fees are based on the square footage of the unit owned, and the condition and amenities of the property. Condo fees are set by the HOA and are mandatory to the residents staying in the building.
The primary appeal for many living in a condo is the carefree lifestyle of having the maintenance of common areas, building amenities, some utilities and added insurance coverage taken care of by the association.
What Are the Added Costs of Owning A Single Family Home on Maui?
Single family homes in Maui do not have HOA fees unless the house is located in a private community that has an association. Instead of having monthly HOA fees that take care of maintenance and other expenses, owners of a single-family home will pay these expenses on their own.
In addition to monthly expenses for utilities, insurance and the like, a homeowner must set aside money for repairs, improvements and to cover emergencies that may happen on the property. This can be an unpleasant surprise if a homeowner does not have funds to cover an expense such as a new roof, HVAC or irrigation system. In a condominium, these sums are set aside from HOA fees in reserve, so when issues arise, there is the money to pay for them.
Benefits and Detractors
A single-family home will allow a home buyer the most freedom and control over their home, but on top of the monthly mortgage payment, the costs of operating and maintaining the home is left solely on the homeowner. These types of regular maintenances include things like painting the home every ten years (shorter if living by the ocean), re-roofing around 25 years, pool resurfacing in ten years, weekly landscaping, pool maintenance and homeowner’s insurance, which over the years can really add up. Plus the homeowner is tasked with managing the work themselves or paying professionals for services, which would cost more.
On top of maintenance, a homeowner is also responsible for the monthly costs of utilities such as sewer, water, electricity, cable, internet services and security alarm services, paid directly to the company offering the service. Owners of single-family homes are also required to have money budgeted in case of repairs needed to the exterior of the home.
The bottom line is, that though having a single family home affords a homeowner more freedom with their home, the costs of maintaining a single family home adds up in the separate fees that come monthly along with the owner doing the maintenance work on their own or having to hire professionals to complete the work.
In comparison to living in a condominium community, monthly HOA fees will cover the professional maintenance of the building exterior grounds, common areas, amenities, monthly utilities and even homeowners insurance and may be an appealing trade-off for a little less control and a lot more savings and much less hassle to the owner.