Homeowners Association

What Is a Homeowners Association? 8 Key Things to Understand

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In the United States, about 25% of residents live somewhere that has a homeowners association (HOA).

More and more people are moving to places with HOAs, but many people are also avoiding them because they don’t want to pay higher fees or follow any rules.

Before you decide to move somewhere with an HOA, read this article to learn everything you need to know!

1. There Can Be Disputes Between Owners and HOA

In some HOAs, there is an open line of communication between the owners and the association.

For example, an HOA might be able to handle problems that you have with parking, noise, property disputes, or property issues. You can file a complaint about other neighbors who aren’t following the rules. But keep in mind someone else can do the same for you and your property.

2. There Are Rules to Follow and Consequences if They’re Broken

When you don’t follow the rules set by the HOA, there will be consequences. It might seem annoying to have to deal with all these rules, but then, on the other hand, all your neighbors have to follow them as well.

Which means that you’ll have a nice, clean-looking, and orderly community to live in.

When you’re charged with a fine and refuse to pay it, the HOA might punish you by putting a lien on your home. To remove it, you’ll have to pay any fees that you haven’t closed out.

Before you move into the community governed by an HOA, you’ll want to read the fine print and see exactly what power the HOA has because some can even foreclose your house.

3. There Will Be Fees

There are fees if you break the rules, but there are also annual or monthly fees that come with just living with an HOA.

These fees will normally pay for things in the community, like community areas (clubhouse, pool, or a gym), lighting, sidewalks, parks, and other things.

The fees for each HOA will be different and will vary depending on the location you live in.

4. Townhomes Also Have HOAs

You might think that just single-family homes have HOAs, but townhomes (and condos) also have them.

A townhome HOA won’t be much different from a condo HOA, but they will be different from a single-family home’s. You’ll have a standard to maintain for the exterior of the house, and there will also be rules in regard to the community areas, guests, and noise.

5. There Are Some HOA Advantages

If you can afford the HOA annual or monthly fees and don’t break the rules, you won’t have much to worry about. Before you move somewhere, take a look at your budget and see if you even have the money to pay for that extra fee.

If you do, you’ll also discover that living somewhere with an HOA can actually increase your property value as well. When there is a community standard for your neighborhood, it will also ensure that your neighbors’ houses look nice and inviting as well. Potential home buyers will want to live somewhere that looks nice and where the neighbors don’t immediately scare them off.

While you’re living there, an HOA can also be nice because you won’t have to see your neighbor’s rundown house, broken fence, or other problems. You can really enjoy the neighborhood you’re living in and take pride in it.

6. HOA Can Approve or Disprove Your Home Improvement Projects

If you’re planning on buying a home to renovate all of it, you may want to check if it’s in an HOA community first. For most major home improvement projects, you’ll need to get HOA approval first.

Normally there is an HOA board that will take a vote on your proposal. You’ll have to get approval from them for things like painting the outside of your home, planting any major trees (or removing them), adding any extra portion to your house, fixing the sidewalk, putting up a fence, or other things.

If you don’t get approval, you may be faced with some fines or have to reverse whatever improvement you did.

7. They Are Non-Profit Organizations

Did you know that most HOAs are non-profit organizations?  HOAs are normally run by volunteers who are also homeowners.

Because the HOAs are run by homeowners in your community, they mostly have the best interests at heart for the neighborhood. That way you can rest assured that most decisions come from a willingness to uphold a certain standard in the community.

While most HOAs are run like this, there are some that are run by HOA management companies. If the house you’re looking at is in an HOA area that is run by one of these companies, you may want to do some research on the company.

If they seem troublesome and difficult to deal with, you may want to try and find a new home.

8. They Help Uphold a Standard in Your Community

At the end of the day, an HOA is there to uphold a standard in your community. They want to make sure that everything is clean. They want to run the community facilities and make sure that they are enjoyable for the residents in the neighborhood.

It’s kind of like being in a really exclusive club that doesn’t want anything than to better your community to help your home and the ones around you sell for more money.

Discover More About a Homeowners Association

These are only a few things to know about a homeowners association, but there are many more things to understand.

If you’re still confused about finding a good HOA, selling your home, or buying a home, make sure you check out our website!

You’ll find all kinds of articles just like this one to help keep you informed!

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