Mentioning that a home is part of a Homeowner’s Association (HOA) can elicit a variety of responses. The range of opinions varies depending on a number of factors, including individual preferences and the value of the HOA to the community. Homeowners who live in an HOA must adhere to the rules and regulations and pay a monthly or annual fee to help pay for maintenance and management of the community.
If you live in an HOA, you must meet the standards set by the association. This ensures that lawns, yards, and homes always meet the set standards of appearance or homeowners will pay a fine. Most HOAs have regulations regarding how many vehicles can be parked at your home and where, visible trash or garbage cans, whether RVs and boats can be parked at the home, etc.
The exteriors of homes often are regulated as well, so any changes, signs, flags, paint colors, etc. will generally have to be approved by the association.
Limited yard maintenance
Depending on the HOA and what type of home you live in, many services such as trash, snow removal, and lawn care are managed by the HOA, leaving less maintenance required of the homeowner.
A big perk of having an HOA is if you have any issue in your community such as a dog who constantly barks, a neighbor who likes to hold frequent, loud parties, or other issues, you can contact the association management to handle the situation. HOAs can mediate disputes between neighbors, which helps solve issues quickly.
In general, HOAs help keep home values in the community up. They create regulations and rules homeowners must abide by. Because homeowners who do not comply with HOA regulations can be fined, the community generally looks well maintained and uniform, helping maintain or even raise property values.
For some people, HOA rules and regulations can feel intrusive. Generally, if you aren’t following the regulations set by the association, you’ll be notified. The HOA can determine how often you mow your lawn, what kinds of plants, shrubs, and trees you can plant, or what kind of pet(s) you can have.
Monthly, quarterly, or annual HOA fees will need to be factored in to how much you can afford when purchasing a home and your expenses. HOA fees are not tax deductible and can be raised at any time.
Liens and/or Foreclosures
If you fail to pay your HOA fees, the HOA can place a lien on your home or foreclose on your home.
If you eventually want to rent or sell your home, you may be required to get HOA board approval for your tenant or buyer. The HOA can also determine how much you must charge for rent or even if you can rent your home. Some HOAs only allow a certain percentage of homes to be rented in a community. Some HOAs like to screen potential homebuyers and/or determine when the new occupants can move in, which could affect your time frame.
When purchasing a home, whether or not you want to live in a community with an HOA should be carefully considered. Usually, the benefits outweigh the negative aspects, but if you are unsure of what to do or have questions about how HOA rules and regulations affect your homebuying process, feel free to contact us to assist you.