The mere mention of a Homeowners Association (HOA) can elicit a negative response. With anecdotes constantly swarming over what it's like to live in an HOA, we decided to share some facts to consider. Before diving in, let's clarify that an HOA is intended to govern a neighborhood comprised of resident board members who meet regularly to discuss recent developments and concerns within the community.
Standard Practices of an HOA
Typically elected by other residents, these board members have the authority to impose rules among the community known as covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&R). To preserve the property's value and attractiveness, residents must adhere to policies within it. While every HOA has a different set of CC&Rs, some common elements are acceptable colors for the exterior of a house, landscaping standards and limits on the number of vehicles/storage permissible in a driveway.
Once you make an offer and it is accepted, you are given a limited time to review your HOA's CC&R, typically around three to 10 days. Sure, the document can be hundreds of pages long, but it is highly recommended you familiarize yourself with it. You should also use the time to review your HOA's latest internal documents, including minutes from meetings, HOA financials and external court records. By reviewing, you'll see if any lawsuits have been filed and if they have been filed against a resident, and why.
What to Consider: Pros and Cons
After understanding the history of your HOA, consider the financials. By buying into an HOA, you are expected to pay monthly fees for maintenance on the communal property and amenities in the housing development. Depending on the size of the property/community, payments range from $200-$300. If the HOA you are considering is outside your price range, feel free to shop around for less expensive fees.
Since your monthly payments go directly to maintenance, as the homeowner, you are not responsible for the areas shared by other residents. Instead, the HOA is to use the money to keep these shared spaces and amenities, including your home's exterior, agriculture and pool.
Consistency is key within HOAs. The organization ensures the community retains its original structure and appeal to maintain its property value. Before construction moves forward, the HOA must first approve any addition or modification to the property.
If you have questions about your local HOA or want more information, please contact NMC Realty Group. We will share our expert knowledge and tips to assist you in the process.