If you’re planning on buying a home in a community with a homeowners association, make sure you understand the organization’s terms and conditions. An organization known as a homeowner’s association is composed of homeowners elected by their fellow residents. It’s responsible for setting rules and regulations for the community. These organizations are commonly found in townhouse communities, single-family homes, and condominium communities. Before you start looking for a home, it’s important to consider an association’s various advantages and disadvantages.
Pros Associated with Homeowner’s Associations:
Commons Areas are managed by the HOA
One of the main advantages of living in a community with an association is that it can manage the various common areas, such as the pool area, the playground, and the community centers. This allows you to enjoy these spaces without worrying about their upkeep. In some cases, the homeowners are responsible for the landscaping in front of their units, while in other cases, the association is responsible for maintaining the landscape in the surrounding areas.
The HOA May Maintain the Home’s Exterior
In addition to maintaining the common areas, the homeowners association can also care for the exterior of their homes. This can include performing various maintenance activities such as power washing and repairing the roof and fence. If you’re planning on buying a home in a community with an association, you might be able to save a lot of money by purchasing it through the association. However, it’s important to note that the organization can only do so much with regard to your property. For instance, if the association wants to make repairs to the walls of your home, you might be responsible for the cost.
The HOA Mediates Problems Between Neighbors
Homeowners associations can help resolve disputes between neighbors. They can act as mediators if one of their members sees that another person is violating a rule or regulation. Instead of talking to your neighbor about the issue, you can contact the association to resolve the matter.
Cons of a Homeowner’s Association
You Have to Pay Monthly HOA Fees
Since the association is responsible for maintaining the exterior and common areas of homes, it is required by law to charge homeowners association fees. These fees can vary depending on the type of amenities the community has. Unfortunately, due to the fees not being written in stone, they can go up and down, and the association might have to raise them to maintain the community.
Defaulting on HOA Fees Has Repercussions
Although it’s important to pay your fees, it’s also important to note that if you don’t pay them, you might end up facing foreclosure. Even if your state doesn’t allow the foreclosure of your home, the amount you owe will still accrue. It’s also important to note that the residents of the community must pay their fees. If the organization is not able to collect enough money, it might have to lay off its property manager and start over. This could have a negative effect on the community’s appearance and property values.
The HOA Imposes Rules and Regulations
Although it might seem like a minor inconvenience, paying the fees can be necessary to maintain the community. The association can set rules that affect the appearance of your home. For instance, they can decide what paint you can use on your front door and how you can decorate your windows. Violating these rules could result in a fine.