You will find HOAs in single family developments, townhomes, patio/cluster homes and condos. Let's breakdown the difference between these types of properties -
Not all single family homes have HOAs, usually is when the development is newer, and that is not always the case. The HOA never ends, unless the homeowners vote it out. Typically, for this type property, the fee covers trash and recycling plus the entry or common grounds in the development.
These are "stand alone" homes, could be a duplex or stand alone. There are some that take care of the lawn care and snow removal, and some even cover exterior, water/sewer and amenities, but this will differ in each development. Always good to look to see what is covered with the HOA payment. For an HOA for this type of home, sometimes the HOA pays the homeowner's insurance. If this is the case, BE SURE to carry HO6 insurance to cover any special assessment that may be assessed.
The HOA fees will start increasing for townhomes, as usually so does what they cover. Of course, this again will differ between communities. The communities with pools, tennis courts and clubhouses will be a bit more expensive. The fees also cover insurance for the building (you will need "contents" or "renter" policy which will be less), water/sewer, exterior maintenance, roof, trash/recycling, snow removal and grounds maintenance. This again will differ, and you need to know what they include. If purchasing this type of home, HO6 insurance is recommended in case there are special assessment.
Like townhomes, condos usually offer the most items covered, and you will see higher HOA fees for condos. The fee usually covers building insurance (homeowner will need "contents" or "renter" policy which will be less), sewer/water (this may not be included), trash/recycling, grounds maintenance, snow removal, and any amenities - community pool, clubhouse and tennis courts.
The fewer amount of units in a community, sometimes you will see higher HOA fees. The larger the community, gives the HOA more income to pay for the amenities offered. If a homeowner does not pay their HOA fee, the HOA could put a lien against your home. It is always a good idea to attend your HOA meetings, so you know what is going on, and the upcoming issues.