Often folks looking for a second home in the mountains limit their search to properties with a Homeowners Association such as condominiums and townhomes and don’t consider a single family home or duplex.
The reason they often give is that they need someone look after the property while they are not in residence. Because about half of second homes are never rented, that is a valid concern.
But is an HOA really necessary? Maybe not if you are willing to arrange your own services.
Managing property is perhaps the largest segment of the Summit County economy. It’s what we do here. You can find any level of service you need. There are dozens of companies and hundreds of individuals who do nothing but take care of second homes.
These range from large national companies with local offices such as Resort Quest that provide turn-key management to a guy with a pickup truck who can arrange cleaning, repairs, periodic checks or anything else you may need.
There are concierges who can stock your place with groceries, make reservations for dinner, set up ski rentals and bring in a caterer to cook your meals for the week.
There are book-by-owner companies that handle the cleaning and maintenance if you do your own rental through VRBO.
Whatever level of service you need, it’s available. And it will probably cost less than HOA dues.
The downside is that you will get all the bills for water, sewer, trash removal, power, cable and everything else that the HOA dues generally cover.
You will need to keep a list of go-to contractors to handle emergencies and repairs. You will be in charge instead of having an HOA to back you up.
But the upside is that you don’t have as many HOA rules and regulations or perhaps none at all. Your second home can be in a more secluded location, you may have some land around you. You won’t have to worry about pets being allowed. You may be able to park your RV or boat at your property.
In short you will be a home owner, just not in full time residence and without HOA services.
If you just want to come, drop your bags and be on vacation, an HOA is your best bet. If you don’t mind being the general manager, there are lots of ways to get what you need done.
I’ve been here for years and can help you find the resources you need to go HOA-free if that is your choice.