Home Owners Association

HOA or No HOA?

Some neighborhoods and most condos & townhome communities have a Home Owners Association. The question about living in a comminity with an HOA really depends on you and your lifestyle. Your attitude also plays into the decision. Let’s talk this through and see how you feel about it.

Do you like to make all of your own decisions about the exterior of your home and lawn? Does the sight of your car on blocks make you grin with delight? How about that boat? Do you love to park it in the front yard so you can walk out and touch it on the days you can’t go to the lake? You have 6 dogs and 15 cats because you generally can’t tolorate humans?

If you answered yes to any of the above an HOA may not be right for you. If you answered yes to most or all PLEASE don’t buy into an HOA because you will drive the HOA crazy (and yourself). Exception: HOA is set up to cover the front entrance sign and 1 light pole with a nominal yearly fee….I think you can handle this one.

So, you say the above is nothing like you? You hate yard work and to go outside you have to wear 4 types of sunscreen. The thought of earth worms creep you out. Poison Ivy gives you nightmares about snakes and you are allergic to the sight of a bee. You are the perfect buyer for a community in an HOA because the HOA will likely cover your exterior building maintenance and the lawn maintenance.

What to look for in an HOA:

What is the HOA fee and when are the fees due?
What is covered by the HOA?
Are the financial records available to review so that you know if the HOA is well funded?
Who handles the financial records and money for the HOA?
Are there any financial assessments in the near future for large maintenance projects?
Who do you contact in the event of a maintenance request?

Home Owners Associations are not all the same. In fact, they are all very different because they are usually made of residents from the community. Where you find a group of people making rules you will find differences within the groups and different HOA groups will also be run differently. What is important in one area may not be important in another. If you have lived in an HOA and loved (or hated) it please don’t assume the next HOA will be the same.

What other questions do you have about Home Owners Associations?

 

Meredith Carswell – Realtor/Broker

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