When you plan to buy a building, complex or apartment in a planned development, you must join a community called Home Owners Association (HOA). You have to pay monthly or annual Home Owner Association fees for the maintenance of common areas.About one in six U.S. homes belongs to the HOA.
Home owner associations are so common, it is highly possible that you will come across HOA in your home search. However, it depends on where you live. If we talk about the areas,then, about six in 10 Nevada homes are in an HOA, whilst just two in 100 are in Georgia.
If you are planning to purchase a property that is governed by an HOA, then you should thoroughly understand how these associations work before you purchase. Home Owner Associations can affect not your finances, but also your quality of life.
9 things which are important for you to know if you are going to buy a property in a community that has a Home Owner Association. Discussing one by one below:
1. Learn the Home Owner Association’s Rules
You may be able to find a Home Owner Association’s online. You find on the internet some information about what happens if you violate the rules. If you violate the rules you can be fined, sued or having the Home Owner Association place a lien on your home.If you cannot find this information on the internet, ask your real estate agent to acquire these documents for you or you can contact the HOA.
Pay genuine attention to whether the Home Owner Association can take possession of your property for non-payment of HOA dues or non-payment of fines resulting from CC&R violations. Also, keenly learn about the process for changing or adding rules. Attend Home Owner Association meetings when you will be able to attend. If the rules are too restrictive for you, then the best decision is to consider buying property elsewhere.
2. Find Out whether the Home is Compliance or not
Buying home into an existing problem can be a problem. So, try to find out whether you will have to make changes to the home to comply with Home Owner Association rules. Is it in need of repainting? Is the landscaping dry or overgrown? Is the interior required? You may be able to convince the owner to resolve the problems as part of the sale agreement.
Also, beware that Home Owner Associations are very considerably in terms of who fixes which problems. Each HOA community has its own CC&Rs. A gated community will have gate maintenance or there will be a Home Owner Association in place with a legal authority to manage more. Any authority typically will have legally granted in writing as part of the creation of a homeowner’s agreement.
3. Evaluate Environmental Practices
If you want to live in friendly environment, then it is important to you to learn about some Home Owner Associations environmental rules. Some Home Owner Associations dictate that you use fertilizers, pesticides, sprinkler systems to keep your lawn picture-perfect.Some of HOAs may not allow xeriscaping, a friendly environment form of landscaping in arid climates.
4. Think About Your Temperament
Are you a person who hates being told what to do? If yes, then living in a community with a Home Owner Association may be a very frustrating experience for you. HOAs rules can really interfere.
5. Learn Out About Fees
Fees of Home Owner Association are different for each community. So, you have to ask following questions from your prospective Home Owner Association.
- How and when Home Owner Associations increase their fee?
- May I get a print of history regarding all dues over the last 10 years?
- What about the Home Owner Association’s reserve fund?
- Can I get the record of past special assessment?
- What about the monthly dues?
6. Get a Copy of the Minutes of Meeting
Always ask your Home Owner Association for the copy minutes of the meeting. In every meeting you will get to know about the policies of Home Owner Association. If you are unable to attend the meeting, then it is important for you to get the copy of the minutes of the meeting. The document will contain the past and current conflicts, resolving the conflicts, name of suing people, and any incident happened.
7. Watch for Under Management
Not all the Home Owner Associations are over-managed. Some HOAs have no interest in maintaining the building, making repairs, hearing resident grievances or being on the board. So,always consider that you are not picking up the under-management association
8. Do Question About Catastrophe Insurance
Catastrophe insurance is significant for townhouse purchase in an area where major natural disasters,such as floods, earthquakes, blizzards, wildfires, tornadoes or hurricanes happened. So, ask about the insurance and make sure the insurance of the building.
9. Consider the effect of Home Owner Association Fees on Your Finances
Always go with lower fees. Do not exceed the fees from your limit. Buy less expensive property if the fee is too high.