Tips for Moving into Your First HomeJune 13, 2019
If you’re on the hunt for a new single-family home, townhouse or condo, you may have noticed that some are part of a homeowners association (HOA). Properties that are part of HOAs are on the rise in recent years. Usually, if you purchase property in a location that has a homeowners association, you are required to join — but is being part of a HOA worth it? Read on to learn what you can expect from being part of a HOA.
- Membership fees: Most HOAs membership fees cost a couple of hundred dollars. Usually, the cost of membership fees depends on what the HOA is responsible for. For example, if the HOA is responsible for amenities like recreational facilities and exteriors, the cost of membership fees could be slightly higher. You can also expect higher-end communities to charge more for membership. These neighborhoods often offer several amenities that can increase property values, like landscaping services. If you’re looking at homes that are part of an HOA, be sure to check membership fees so that they don’t break your budget.
- Restrictions: You can expect some restrictions if you buy a property that is part of an HOA. You may not be able to paint your door certain colors, plant a garden or add certain decor due to the association’s covenants, conditions and restrictions. Before you sign on the dotted line, be aware of what you can and cannot do in your new property. Most rules pertain to the appearance of the home or condo. If you are looking to rent out a home that’s part of an HOA, you’ll want to look into the HOA agreement to make sure there is no language that could complicate or prevent you from doing so altogether.
- Management: Most of the time, HOAs are managed by volunteer members who live in the community. This can work to your advantage because they are usually invested in the well-being of the community since it directly affects them. On the flip side, sometimes these volunteers can be ill-equipped to manage conflict in HOAs. Before buying property in an HOA, make sure you have an understanding of how rules are enforced and what the penalties are if they are violated. It’s also a good idea to meet with the board chair or president to see how seriously they take violations and what you can expect from the
HOA. Homeowners associations can have their advantages if you hold a presentable and uniform neighborhood in high regard. If you’re looking to customize your home and are not as interested in strict rules and regulations, buying a property that is part of an HOA may not be suited for you. Having an understanding of membership fees, restrictions and management can help you decide if that community is right for you.