If you are looking for a new home, one question you will want to ask, but may not have thought about is, “Do I want to buy a house in a neighborhood that has a homeowner’s association?”
In order to know the answer to this question you will have to ask yourself even more questions like, “Do I want someone telling me that I can’t park a boat in my front yard?” and, “Will I mind if my neighbor installs a huge storage shed in their back yard?”
Homeowner’s Associations are created in order to maintain a certain level of aesthetic integrity within a neighborhood, ultimately maintaining or enhancing the property values of the homes. Part of owning a home in a neighborhood that includes a homeowner’s association is the realization that you will have to pay association dues. These dues usually fund the maintenance of common areas and amenities like pools and playgrounds. Dues can vary greatly from neighborhood to neighborhood within a city. It is always wise to talk to your Realtor about what dues will be due and what the homeowner’s association guidelines are before you purchase a home. Many times this information is included in an mls listing.
Once you move in, becoming active in the homeowner’s association by attending meetings and staying informed can help you enjoy your new home even more. You will want to find out what you are allowed to do and not allowed to do to your home. It is always wise to find this information out before you go to do things like build a deck or add on to your home. Be proactive, not reactive!
Your next step is to get out there and enjoy the neighborhood that you have invested in. Enjoy the amenities that you are paying for!