Buying in a Homeowners Association.

A Homeowner’s Association (HOA) can be very attractive to potential buyers of a home.  A HOA fosters community togetherness through common areas and activities.  You can get to know your neighbors and helps maintain the curb appeal of your neighborhood, as well as your home.  An HOA is incorporated by the developer of the subdivision prior to the initial sale of homes in the subdivision. 

Covenants, Codes & Restrictions (CC&R’s) are the governing documents that dictate how the HOA operates and what rules the owners, and their tenants and guests, must obey. These are legal documents and commonly referred to as bylaws.   These CC&R’s or bylaws are documents and rules that are legally enforceable by the homeowners association.  CC&R’s legally “run with the land”, so when you sell or purchase a home with an HOA, membership changes hands and new owners become automatic legal members.

When considering a purchase of a property with an HOA, do your homework.  Not all HOA’s are equal. Some may be laidback on enforcing rules and others may have a history of poor financial management.    Meet with the HOA board or discuss the CC&R’s with your Distinctive Agent.  You want an HOA that is fiscally responsible, and has the money on hand for any major repairs of common areas, such as a swimming pool, community building, parks and sidewalks.    In addition, you may have plans for the home, such as tree removal or a detached building that may be restricted under these bylaws (CC&R’s)

Find out about dues.  Many HOA’s charge dues either monthly, quarterly or annually.  These fees should be used to pay for upkeep on common areas and handle any possible legal fees. These fees are above your regular monthly mortgage and bills you are to pay. 

Finally, check out the dollars and sense.   What is included in your dues, does the trash pick up or water service come included in the fee?  Basically, does the benefits recieved outweigh the cost you will be required to pay?

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