Working With A Homeowner's Association (HOA)

Dated: 04/22/2018

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Working With a HOA

When you purchase a home, you may have to pay a Homeowner's Association Fee, especially in gated communities, townhouses, site condominiums, and other similar planned neighborhoods.  The idea is to keep common areas clean and well maintained, and there's usually an HOA board that is responsible for setting and maintaining the rules and regulations.

Each HOA is different, but most have the same core elements.  You'll typically pay your HOA fees either monthly, quarterly or annually, and it's an important factor to consider when you're deciding to purchase a home.  

First, the fun stuff.  Amenities are typically the big perk of living in a community with an HOA.  While you lose out on some of the freedom of living without having neighborhood oversight, you instead get community amenities like a maintained community pool, gym, clubhouse, tennis courts, meeting spaces, and other amenities.  The HOA fees pay for cleaning and maintenance.  So, in theory, you'll always have a clean pool whenever you want to use it. 

HOA fees often contribute to insurance for the community amenities, as well as a fund for unexpected repairs to damaged community-shared property from weather or accidents.

Your HOA fees will go toward maintaining the general safety and upkeep of the community.  This means things like elevator maintenance for condominiums, snow removal, and trash/recycling services.

The downside of living within a Homeowner's Association is the loss of certain freedoms to let your garbage pile up on the side of your home, or you may have to follow community guidelines when landscaping or painting your property.  You may be restricted when it comes to putting up a fence, adding a pool, keeping a certain kind of pet, storing recreational vehicles in your driveway, overnight parking, etc.  

There may be a board of directors, but homeowner associations exist for the betterment of the entire community, and every voice matters.  HOA meetings - and the amenities they support - provide great opportunities to meet your neighbors and make your community a better place.  

When considering buying a home, be sure to have your REALTOR check to see if that property is governed by a Homeowner's Association, and be sure to request an opportunity to review and approve the HOA bylaws prior to final acceptance of your offer.  As an experienced REALTOR, it's just one of the many things on my checklist when working with buyers in the Monroe County or Downriver area.  Call me at (734) 778-2534 to discuss some of the others!

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Rhonda Wright

For most people, a home is one of the largest purchases they will ever make. My clients hire me to make the process of buying or selling their home go as smoothly as possible. At the end of the tran....

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