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HOA & What You Need to Know

December 20th, 2016

HOA & What You Need to Know

Home owners associations, or HOA’s, govern roughly 30 million homes throughout the United States. As such, its pretty likely that you’ll come across a few properties that are affiliated with an HOA during your home buying journey.

While homeowners associations are great at ensuring a consistent quality of life and protecting home values, there are a few things perspective buyers should consider before buying a home in a HOA community.

It’s Going to Cost You

You know that sparkling neighborhood pool and that cozy resident lounge? They’re not free. Part of the money that is collected from the HOA goes towards maintaining common community areas and providing services to the community, whether you make use of them or not. However, don’t think of this as a negative. The service that HOA’s provide allows residents to enjoy amenities they may otherwise not be able to afford. Additionally, they reduce your responsibilities by keeping lawns mowed, parking restrictions enforced and they maintain the value of the community by preventing property neglect or decline. Speaking of decline, consider the condition of the home before you purchase as the HOA can force homeowners into making costly repairs and can even fine them for not enacting those changes.

What’s the Management Like?

Because of the power HOA’s hold, it’s important to get a feel for their board members or managing company. Speak with people who live in the community, what are the HOAs strengths or weaknesses? Are there any conflicts or issues of drama? Is the HOA too involved or not involved enough? This may seem to be extensive, but the HOA is going to be able to make decisions about what you can do with your property, so you want to make sure their sensibilities are aligned with your own.

What are Your Plans?

This is important to ask because HOA’s may require you to act differently than your plans intended. Are you planning on renting out your home? Some HOA’s have rental restrictions where only a certain percentage of homes in the community can be rented out. Do you have plans to change the home’s landscape? HOA’s can legally restrict you from making changes to your home, so consider checking with the homeowners association before making costly changes to the property. Associations can control how high your fences are, what type of vehicles you can park in your yard, what window covering you can use and much, much more, so it’s important to learn what the rules are and how they relate to your plans for the property.

Homeowners associations can be great when they prevent a neighbor from making an unsightly addition to their home, but that feeling can quickly change once they require you to make a costly repair. It’s important to do your research before purchasing a home in a homeowners association community.

Gore Group Realty has some of the best Henderson homes for sale. Give us a call today to begin your new home search.

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