According to Community Associations Institute, more than 63 million Americans are living in developments and planned communities. Many of these are governed by a home owner’s association, also known as an HOA. HOAs make the rules for the community. Before moving into a community that is governed by an HOA, you will want to take a closer look at what is involved.
Here is a closer look at HOAs:
Facts about HOAs
The HOA in your community will be governed by a volunteer of community members who will manage the community property and all of the common areas. They will create their own CC&Rs (covenants, conditions, and restrictions) regarding all matters pertaining to the community, including expected behavior in the community, responsibilities of members, the architecture (what you can and cannot build on the property), and how much is paid to the HOA in fees. HOA fees can be anywhere from $100 a year to as much as several thousand. This will depend on the average home price and how many amenities come with membership.
What Happens if You Don’t Like the Rules?
If you move into a community ruled by an HOA, you may not like every rule that has been established by the board. While the rules may be tough to fight, you can start by writing a letter to the board and requesting a variance. You may find that your board is more likely to compromise if you follow procedure to request the variance. Also, as your HOA may only meet once or twice a year, you may find that it will take time to make any requested changes.
The Reality of HOAs
In most cases, if you do not follow the rules, you will be fined by the HOA. If you don’t pay, you could quickly end up in small claims court. No matter what the issue, however, it can take years in court to determine the outcome.
Run for the Board Yourself
If you feel that the HOA rules are simply over the top, you can always try to become part of it yourself. You can start by volunteering on committees or tasks. If you want to really get involved because you love the community, but feels it needs some changes, consider running for election to the board itself. While it can be time consuming, you will find the rewards are worth it. You can help determine the fate of your community and make sure that the rules are fair.
Are you looking for a home in a great community? We’re here to help! Give us a call or drop us a line today. DeSelms Real Estate 615.550.5565