Many communities have associations for homeowners, property owners, condo owners, or similar associations. The presence of a homeowners association, also known as “HOA”, introduces another layer of rules and regulations to consider when buying a home. Some people love these associations and some hate them.
Some associations have very simple rules such as no grass above ten inches is allowed. Others have architectural review boards that must approve your paint scheme before you can paint the exterior of your house.
Some associations add an amount of cost to the home purchase via monthly, quarterly or annual dues payments. An aggressive association may also attempt to issue levies on homeowners for improvement projects.
If you are considering a property controlled by an association, watch out for the following:
1. Sometimes associations limit the kind of pet, amount of pets and/or weight of the pet residents may have. If the association allows pets, it may limit the hours and locations they can be outside.
2. Parking places may be assigned coupled with an aggressive towing policy. No abandoned, non-working motor vehicles, and sometimes no commercial vehicles or trucks allowed.
3. Some associations maintain pools, tennis courts, gymnasium, elevators, trash collection, grounds maintenance, provide transportation service, concierge service, and in general make life pleasant and trouble free.
Be wise and ask about the Home Owners association (HOA) rules and regulations before you buy.