Home Owners Associations or HOAs can have a powerful impact on your rights as a home owner. Before moving into an HOA neighborhood, be sure to consider these factors.
- Learn Your HOA’s Rules
Every HOA is different. It’s important to take the time and familiarize yourself with your association’s rules. What happens if you break a rule? Is my home currently meeting all HOA rules before I buy it? Pay particular attention to any rules resulting in a fine.
- Consider Your Temperament
If you’re not a fan of being told what you can and can’t do, an HOA might not be for you. One of the largest benefits of being a home owner is changing your home as you see fit, so be sure your goals and your HOA’s goals aren’t at odds with each other.
- Be Careful of Under-management
Often people are worried their HOA will be overbearing and watching their every move. This is just as troublesome as when an HOA isn’t fulfilling its duties. If the HOA board isn’t making repairs, attending meetings or resolving their residents’ problems, it may be cause for concern. Make sure your needs are going to be met when you join an HOA.
- Consider the Fees
In addition to your mortgage, you will also have HOA fees and dues. Be sure to understand these charges, as you don’t want to be caught off guard. You need to determine whether or not the services the HOA provides are worth the annual cost.
- Always Stay Up to Date
If you decide to join an HOA, do everything you can to ensure you’re informed of any changes. Attending meetings, or requesting minutes from the most recent meeting, is a great way to be notified of any changes the HOA makes.