Neighborhoods with Homeowners’ Associations (HOAs) can be a great place to live, whether you’re in Mansfield, Southlake or elsewhere in the DFW Metroplex. Often, HOA communities have wonderful perks such as a community clubhouse, neighborhood pool, parks, sport facilities, community lake, etc. Along with desirable amenities comes HOA rules and regulations that homeowners are expected to follow, such as expectations for your lawn, house exterior, fence, holiday decorations, etc. In order to ensure you are buying a home in the right community for your family, here are some questions you should ask yourself when looking for a good home owner’s associations:
How does the community look?
Does it look pretty? Because it should. One of the best signs of finding a great HOA is an aesthetically appealing neighborhood. Look for cleanliness, consistency and order in how the residential and shared properties seem to be kept.
Well-manicured front lawns and homes with nice curb appeal are a good indicator of a healthy HOA.
Also see: 5 Reasons why you need a DFW real estate agent to buy a home
Are the CCRs and House Rules clear and followed?
Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions, also known as CCRs, is a document that explains the rules and regulations that homeowners must follow. However, these CCRs mean nothing if they go unenforced.
House Rules are specifics rules of how issues are brought to the board, how the board makes decisions and applies them to the community. More often than not, if an HOA has very specific House Rules, than their CCRs will be respected and enforced.
Ask to see the HOA’s House Rules to make this determination. Readers also enjoyed: How buying in a specific school district can protect home value
What is the community’s vision and goals?
Some HOAs are solely concerned about maintaining the current facilities. Others have goals to improve and upgrade the community throughout the years and care deeply about upholding a high standard of how the community should look. Some HOAs are very strict with enforcing their CCRs through violations, others use CCRs more as general guidelines of how private property should be kept, but do not punish for violating the rules.
Ask the HOA Board about the communities vision and goals so you know exactly what you are buying in to.
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How does the Board communicate with the home owners?
Find out if the board uses newsletters, website, emails, social media, etc. to keep home owners informed of what is going on in their community.
Another great sign of a healthy HOA, is an open invitation for home owners to attend board meetings, so that all may learn and share about what is happening in the community.
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How are dues collected and kept safe?
Since the HOA Board is filled with volunteers, not everyone has the financial training to manage large amounts of money collected from homeowners.
The best HOAs have a private property manager who handles the financial affairs of the community, like money collections, paying bills, reviewing invoices, etc.
What is a buyer’s agent?
Can the Homeowners challenge policy?
Check the CCRs of the HOA to learn how a homeowner may issue a formal complaint to the Board. Find out about the HOA’s history of how the Board acted when the majority of homeowners wanted a change.
Check the CCRs for policies on a community or Board vote for changes requested by the majority of homeowners.
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For all your real estate needs, contact expert DFW realtor, Stacey Perry with Keller Williams Realty, today!
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