More and more these days, Home Owner’s Associations (HOA’s) are part of single-home and condominium communities. HOA’s occur when a builder or planner of a community does not want to manage the day-to-day running of the neighborhood, so they turn over the management to a Home Owner’s Association. While there are a lot of rules associated with HOA’s, there are also a lot of benefits of an HOA. What are some things you need to know about HOA’s and being a part of a community?
What are CC&R’s? They are covenants, conditions, and restrictions. CC&R’s is a term often used in the real estate community that lays out the rules for a particular community. When you become a part of a community that has an HOA, there are often monthly fees associated with the HOA as well as specific rules and conditions you are expected to live by. It is essential to read the HOA CC&R’s carefully, so you know the expectations of living in the neighborhood. If you don’t know all the rules, you may be subject to fines or other punishments related to the contract.
As most HOA’s have a monthly or yearly fee, there are benefits of living in an HOA. Some of the benefits include lawn maintenance, snow removal, cable and internet inclusion, and private park privilege’s. Many HOA’s, especially in condo or townhome communities include pools and clubhouses. As a member of the HOA, you have access to these private parks and pools. In addition to all the perks, HOA’s help to maintain the appearance of the neighborhood and community. The HOA is also a governing board that handles disputes, so if you have a problem with barking dogs or specific issues with neighborhood property, they can negotiate settlements and help your cause in disagreements.
Many HOA’s have limitations as well. As it is essential for an HOA to maintain a particular look, feel and maintain the safety, they will have rules in place to keep the look they want. As the home owner’s themselves get a say in how to run the community, it is crucial for you take part of the HOA if you want things to change. Some restrictions that you may be how you maintain your lawn, what kinds of decorations you have on your house, what colors you paint the outside of the house and where and when you can park vehicles. There are often restrictions on where you place your garbage and how long you can have it out.
It is a privilege to be able to have a piece of property and to live in a home. There are also benefits and restrictions when living in an HOA. Make sure before you move into a specific area that you know if an HOA is right for you. Most importantly, if you don’t like how the HOA is being run, make your voice and concerns heard.