While house hunting, home buyers may find that some of the options they’re considering are part of a homeowners association, or HOA for short. HOAs can be found subdivisions as well as condominiums, but not all neighborhoods have HOAs. The HOA itself is an organization made up of the homeowners who live in the neighborhood who decide the rules everyone has to follow and how to use the dues that they collect to benefit the neighborhood. Living in a neighborhood with an HOA can be nice for some people, but inconvenient for others, so here is what all home buyers need to know before purchasing a home that is part of a homeowners association.
HOAs Have Rules and Guidelines
When considering buying a home that is part of an HOA, buyers first need to look at the guidelines they’ll be expected to follow. Buyers who like to have complete control over their home and property may find neighborhood guidelines and regulations might be too restrictive for them. HOA guidelines will vary depending on the neighborhood, but here are a few that buyers may encounter:
- Homes may have guidelines about where fences can be erected.
- Swimming pools may be controlled as to size and placement.
- Homes should be painted in a color from a pre-approved color palette.
- Large RV's and boats may not be allowed to be stored on the property.
- Certain pets of specific sizes, breeds, or species may not be allowed.
Every HOA will have different rules in place. Some might be lenient, and others won’t, so it’s up to the home buyer to do their research before purchasing a home that is part of an HOA.
Homeowners Pay an HOA Fee
In order to be part of an HOA, homeowners pay dues regularly. This usually happens monthly or yearly, but it varies between HOAs. On average, an HOA will charge $100-500 per month, but this depends on the size of the neighborhood and the number of amenities members have access to. A neighborhood that only has a park will typically have lower fees than one that has a park, tennis courts, pools, walking trails, swimming pool and a gym.
HOA residents are required to pay HOA fees as these fees aren’t optional. Non payment of HOA amounts can result in a lien on the home among other actions by the HOA. Home buyers need to make sure they’re able to pay these fees in addition to their mortgage and other bills before purchasing a home in an HOA.
Homeowners Enjoy Amenities and Can Be an Active Member of the HOA
One of the best parts about being a member of an HOA are the amenties many HOA's offer. Many HOA's offer residents the use of swimming pools, clubhouses and other neighborhood amenties. Some HOA's even offer the security of a gated community or additional security measures within the neighborhood.
In addition, they can become active within the HOA itself. If a homeowner wants to change something in their neighborhood like create a new public event like a neighborhood movie night or Easter egg hunt, they can do so by attending meetings and voicing their opinions. However, one doesn't have to become active within the HOA to enjoy the amenities of the neighborhood.
Being part of a homeowners association can bring a lot of benefits to homeowners, but it isn’t for everyone. Before buying a Ridge at Hangman home that is part of an HOA, the buyer needs to research the particular HOA to make sure it’s a good match for them.