Wednesday, June 8, 2022 / by Sonya Reiselt
When you’re driving through suburban areas, you’ll often see neighborhoods of lovely landscaped and fresh-cut yards with coordinated homes and walkways that look like the perfect place to call home. And many times, these neighborhoods will be part of an HOA, or homeowners association. But what is a homeowners association? What is it like for the families who choose to live there? That’s what I’ll delve into today.
What is an HOA?
An HOA stands for Homeowners Association. Which is a group of people who own homes in the community who share services of the community. The HOA is responsible for managing the community and collecting fees to pay for the management and shared services and amenities of the community. The main goal of an HOA is to increase property values for their owners. In order to do this, the HOA sets and enforces rules and guidelines as to how properties in the neighborhood should look and what the homeowners can and cannot do.
An HOA is normally set-up when the development is built, then the developer will hand that over to the homeowners. Each owner is part of the HOA upon purchasing a home. The homeowners vote for a board of directors who will choose which community features and services will be utilized, collect fees, set and enforce community rules and standards. When you purchase a home in an HOA you are given and must agree to the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (rules & regulations of the HOA) and pay the monthly dues associated with them.
Homeowner Association fees vary greatly depending on the type of community you are in; single family, townhome, retirement, lifestyle, etc. They will be delineated on your contract precisely and shown whether to be paid monthly or annually.
What amenities come with an HOA Fee
Again, this varies greatly depending on the HOA you’re associated with, but here are some of the popular amenities:
· Trash Removal
· Building maintenance (shared spaces)
· Golf Courses
· Swimming Pools
· Community Events
· Senior Centers/Retiree Events
So, what are the pros and cons of choosing to purchase a home or townhome in an HOA? It greatly depends on you! Here’s what you need to consider.
· Great amenities
· Possible increased home value
· Well-kept and manicured neighborhoods
· Extra Fees!
· Membership Dues
· Restrictions & being told what you can & cannot do with your own home.
· Cookie cutter homes
· Lack of privacy
Homeowner associations can be a great answer for many families, but a nightmare for others. The bottom line is you need to know what you are looking for and what you’re willing to put up with for the extra amenities. And what you’re willing to pay for those amenities. Research is key and partnering with a strong local real estate professional who has a working knowledge of homeowners associations and can guide you through the process.
Do you have additional questions about purchasing a home in a homeowners association? If so, feel free to reach out. If you’re ready to start the home buying process let’s schedule a time to talk at your convenience and get you on your way to becoming a homeowner.