Maintenance Free Homes In Minneapolis
While there is no such thing as the completely maintenance free home, some types called low maintenance homes come mighty close. If you’re tired of shoveling snow, mowing the lawn and cleaning out the rain gutters, read on for how to live a maintenance-light lifestyle.
Maintenance Free Living & Homeowner Associations
About 1.2 million Minnesotans live in communities managed by any of the 7,500 homeowner associations in the state, according to the Community Associations Institute. While we frequently hear the horror stories about homeowner associations (HOAs), we seldom hear about the perks of living in a community managed by one.
Whether you own a single-family detached home a townhome or a condo, life in a common interest development (CID) means that you own not only your home, but also an interest in the common areas (community pool, etc.). You also share in the costs of maintaining the community, typically including the exterior of the buildings.
So, you can have a pool but not have to pay to keep it clean and ensure the chemicals are balanced. You can have irrigated and maintained landscaping without paying a gardener.
Maintenance Free Homes Aren't Actually “Free”
While you won’t be doing the maintenance, someone will and that someone needs to get paid. Enter, the HOA monthly dues or fees. These fees can range from $20 a month to more than $1,000, depending on the community and its amenities. The U.S. Census Bureau claims that the average association fee, nationwide, is $200 a month. A rule of thumb is to plan on paying from 1.5 percent to 1.8 percent of the value of your home per year.
Part of that money goes into the HOA’s reserve fund to help pay for big problems, such as roofing or pool repairs. Many associations are underfunded for any number of reasons so if reserves are low and an emergency pops up, you may be assessed an additional fee. This is why it’s so important to read every word of the HOA documents before purchasing a home in a CID
Tricking out a single-family home
If you just can’t stand the thought of living in a condo or townhome and have your heart set on buying a single family home in the Twin Cities there are ways to ensure the home isn’t a constant maintenance headache. It will never be maintenance-free, but these tips go a long way toward making a house maintenance-light.
- Fiber-cement siding: House Logic’s John Riha claims that fiber-cement siding is not only “the curb appeal champ,” but it doesn’t age, like wood. It requires re-painting every 15 years and has an average life expectancy of at least 50 years.
- Metal roofing: Tough and maintenance-free, Riha says that most come with a 40 or 50 year warranty. He suggests that you “look for baked-on enamel finishes with rust-proof undercoating.”
- Quartz countertops: Homebuyers haven’t quite caught on yet that quartz is a far better choice than granite for the kitchen countertops. They don’t require sealing and they resist scratching and staining and they last about 30 years.
While none of these “fixes” will allow you to get rid of the snow blower or the lawn mower, they will help avoid some common maintenance headaches.
The Kris Lindahl Team would be happy to advise you on purchasing a maintenance free home in Minneapolis. Get in touch, today.