How much are HOA fees in Costa Rica?
Most properties are located in a gated community, with a formal and legal Home Owners Association. The HOA provides the necessary services to run the community; security, administrator, landscaping, garbage pickup, water and sewage systems, accounting, insurance and maintenance of the common areas and amenities (if applied). This of course costs money that must be shared by the property owners in the development, whether it is a condominium or lot / home development.
Most of these are fixed costs. In other words, items like security are the same price per hour or price for 24 hour period in any development. The difference is, if that guard service is being divided by 12 owners or 24 owners, determines many times, the difference in fees between one development and another. Also, developments with multiple swimming pools, larger landscaping to maintain, and other amenities like gym or beach club, will also be the difference in price between one community and another.
Small condo developments with only one amenity, like a community pool, usually run about $200 per month.
Fancier condo developments, with multiple pools, gyms, beach club etc, run around $500 per month.
These fees usually cover EVERYTHING outside of your condo; maintenance of the building and roof; insurance; common areas etc and all items listed above.
Residential home subdivisions, usually run around $150-275 per month, depending again on how many properties are in the project, and what type of amenities are offered. These fees cover everything that is common in the development. In this type of project, the home owner maintains their own personal properties, paying for their owner landscaping, pool service, and maintenance of the house.
Fortunately, we have no snow removal fees.
Compared to North America, HOA FEES are very reasonable. A nice condominium building in a first class city like Toronto or Miami, can easily run $1500-2000 per month.
Many of my clients come from single family house communities in North America where there are NO HOA fees. Everything is paid for and maintained by the government. But in reality, you are paying for these services in the form of property taxes. Take Boca Raton Florida for example. My property taxes when I lived there were 2% of the house value. So a $500,000 home was $10,000 a year in taxes. For these fees, the city of Boca Raton would supply all the necessary services for the area. When the road needed to be fixed, they did it. They would pick up trees that feel down and make sure the street lights were working. So as an owner, I never had to do anything except pay my taxes.
In Costa Rica, property taxes are VERY low. They are .25% of the value. So that same home would only be $1250 per year! This also means that the local municipalities don’t have a lot of extra money. So they use it to maintain the major thoroughfares, schools, hospitals, fire trucks, police etc; the important things. Smaller roads, inside our subdivisions, we have to look after ourselves. So the HOA fees help to maintain the infrastructure within our communities.
When there is a pot hole in the road, we fill it ourselves. We maintain our own water systems, street lights and do upgrades to the internet cables ourselves. And if a cat is stuck in a tree, we just get our own ladder to help the little dude down. We don’t call the fire department.
So if my HOA fees for my house are $250 per month that equates to $3000 per year. Add that to the $1250 and my grand total for maintaining my development and my taxes are $4250. So it is best to just look at HOA fees as a portion of your property taxes. Compared to the $10,000 you would be paying, you are still substantially lower than if you stayed in North America.