Most people are familiar with the privileges and obligations that come with belonging to a homeowners association. When joining a condominium association, it’s a natural assumption that everything is just the same. Condo associations, however, have some major differences that are important to consider.

Type of Dwelling

HOAs are created to manage single-family homes in a neighborhood or gated community. Each home has its own yard, driveway, and landscaping. COAs, in contrast, exist for buildings that contain multiple dwellings within them.

Maintenance and Repair

All the families living in a condominium building share things like the following:

  • Roof
  • Basement
  • Landscaping
  • Parking lot
  • Lounge areas
  • Swimming pool

With so many common areas, the families must all contribute to their upkeep by financing landscaping pool maintenance, insect extermination, and cleaning. They also must pay to fix items that are damaged when not covered by insurance.


One difference that can come as a shock is the difference in fees. COA fees are usually higher because the burden of many financial obligations falls on the organization rather than on individual homeowners. It is up to the board of directors to determine how much the fees will cost.

When looking into joining or insuring a COA, keep the above differences in mind. That way, you will not have any unpleasant surprises.

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