If you are buying a home on Hilton Head Island or in Bluffton, there's more to consider than just the price in the listing.
Buyers in Beaufort County — where private communities make up a large part of the real estate market — may want to factor in homeowners association or property owners association fees when setting their budget so there's no disappointment when the house they fall in love with doesn't fit their finances.
HOA or POA fees, along with initiation fees or golf memberships that may or may not be mandatory, vary greatly among communities, and so do the benefits that come with them.
Some communities assess a smaller fee for owners whose property does not have a home on it; this is commonly known as an "unimproved property."
Other communities require residents to have club memberships or make a minimum dollar amount of food or beverage purchases.
Beaufort County Realtors say community fees change frequently, so few of them publish fee lists on their websites.
Below are some of the fees charged by some Beaufort County private communities for properties with homes, as of early March, according to the agency's website. Buyers in these communities may pay other fees as well.
Belfair: $15,430 annually plus a $19,500 one-time initiation fee.
Berkeley Hall: $18,200 annually plus a $18,200 one-time initiation fee and $6,935 golf membership.
Colleton River: $18,700 annually plus a $15,000 capitol contribution.
Hampton Hall: $3,850 annually plus a one-time social membership fee of $4,000 and one-time partial fund contribution fee of $810.
Hampton Lake: $3,477 annually plus a one-time capital contribution fee of $2,250. Prices may very based on community area.
Hilton Head Plantation: $1,395 annually plus a one-time transfer fee of 1/4 of 1 percent of the sale price on all real estate transactions (capped at $6288).
Indigo Run: $1,685 annually, plus an annual neighborhood assessment, a one-time initiation/transfer fee equal to two times the annual assessment and a $250 administrative processing fee.
Long Cove: $12,021 annually plus a $20,000 one-time initiation fee.
Moss Creek: $5,523 annually plus a $23,000 initiation fee (optional $1,000 activity fee or pay per activity).
Palmetto Bluff: $8,498 annually, which includes required membership. There are additional neighborhood assessments and transfer fees.
Palmetto Dunes: $1,650 and a $150 storm reserve assesment annually plus 1/2 of 1 percent of the sales price paid by the purchaser at closing and a $200 transfer processing fee paid by the seller at closing.
Palmetto Hall: $1,520 annually, plus required social or golf membership and $125 paperwork and processing fee.
Port Royal: $1638 annually, plus a transfer fee 1/2 of 1 percent of the sales price and a one-time special clubhouse assessment
Rose Hill: $2,200 annually plus a $1,845 transfer fee and a $200 administrative fee.
Sea Pines: $1,050 annually. Some areas of Sea Pines may have different fees.
Shipyard: $935 annually plus 1/2 of 1 percent of the sales price.
Wexford: $15,560 annually plus a $20,000 initiation fee for homes or $10,000 for lots. The food and beverage minimum for all properties is $1,090 annually.
Windmill Harbour: $2,820 annually, and boat slips are $705 annually, according to Jaime Fenstermaker, director of association management with IMC Resort Services.