The Love-Hate Relationship with HOA’s

Posted by on August 10, 2016 in Buying, Neighborhood, Selling | 0 comments

The Love-Hate Relationship with HOA’s
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Don't Do by pakorn

More than once I have heard from a client, “I don’t want to live in a neighborhood with an HOA.” Some people love them - some people love to hate them. But why the love-hate relationship with HOA’s? Well, there seems to be some common threads on both sides. Let’s look at both.

Pros

Your insurance could be cheaper

Help to maintain property values

Sanford and his son won’t live next to you

Common areas are not your responsibility

You may have nice amenities to use at no extra expense

They maintain gated entrances and landscaping

Neighborhood events

Quarterly or yearly HOA meetings

Cons

An extra monthly expense

Approval is required to make any changes to your property

You may receive a letter if your trash can is left out an extra day

The restrictions may prohibit an excessive number of items

You won’t be able to paint your front door pink

They may be hard to reach if you have an issue

Possibility of dues increases or assessments

Quarterly or yearly HOA meetings

In theory, a Home Owner’s Association is put in place to help maintain or increase property values and to beautify the neighborhood through dues. Some HOA’s are simply in place to mow a small patch of grass and maintain the sign at the entrance of a neighborhood. Some HOA’s are even voluntary and you are not required to pay any dues at all. On the other end of the spectrum, some HOA’s will not allow certain breeds of animals or allow parking on the street. It is very important that you receive and review a copy of the by-laws as well as the CC&R’s (Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions) prior to purchasing a property that has an HOA. You may be surprised at what they will or won’t allow and you need to be sure you can abide by them. Just because a neighbor says they don’t enforce a certain restriction doesn’t mean it won’t happen. I had a recent client need to sell their house or get a different work vehicle because when they bought the home (Disclaimer: I did not represent them for their purchase) several years ago, they were told they could park a work van in their driveway. All of a sudden, they received a letter from the Property Management Company telling them it was not allowed. If the HOA hires a new Property Management Company or a neighbor decides to turn you in, the rules that were “never enforced” might cause you to need to make an inconvenient change.

Be educated and be informed prior to buying and even though you may lean on the side of “cons” when it comes to the HOA meetings, you may regret not having a say in how your money is spent. And if you receive a letter from the Property Management Company, remember, they are just doing the job you are paying them to do!

Photo courtesy of pakorn via freedigitalphotos.net

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