What is an HOA?When looking to buy a home, it is important to learn about the neighborhood HOA, such as annual dues, community amenities, and restrictions. The goal of the HOA is to help maintain home values and the overall aesthetics of a neighborhood.Homeowner’s Associations, or HOAs, have been around for decades, especially in condo and/or townhouse communities, but are becoming more prominent in neighborhoods with single-family homes.
An HOA is an association that works to maintain and oversee the common areas of a neighborhood and is typically a volunteer-based board made up of homeowners living in the neighborhood. Many HOAs have committees that coordinate neighborhood events, review proposed changes homeowners wish to make to their property, enforce the covenants, and more.
The covenants, conditions, and restrictions are different for every HOA. Some commonly seen rules govern the overall appearance and aesthetics of the neighborhood, such as the appearances of houses and lawns. Many mandate the type and/or style of fencing that may be installed. Some also have restrictions regarding street parking and whether residents may park their boats and RVs on their property. While these may seem rather burdensome or trivial, the HOA was designed to help maintain home values and the overall aesthetics of a neighborhood.
When considering a house in a community with an HOA, it’s important to obtain a copy of the HOA covenants, conditions, and restrictions to make sure that you are comfortable with what is allowed and not allowed in the neighborhood. The rules that apply are enforceable.
It’s becoming more common for HOAs to have a website or social media page, which is a great place to learn more about the community. If not, a copy of the HOA documents may be obtained from the county where they were recorded.
Remember, the volunteers who serve on the HOA are your neighbors and friends. Like you, they want what’s best for the community. Every homeowner benefits from a well-cared for neighborhood.