1- What is a Homeowner’s Association?
Homeowner Associations are commonly called an HOA. An HOA is where the owners of homes, townhomes or condos in a residential project or community are bound together by a deed restriction called Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&R’s). When you purchase a property in an HOA, CC&R’s are recorded on your property that obligate you to abide by them and be a member of the Homeowner’s Association of that project.
2- What is the purpose of a Homeowner’s Association?
The main purpose of an HOA is to “preserve and maintain property values.” This is done by maintaining an acceptable level of uniformity so that all of the homes and grounds are kept up nicely. This is done through a provision in the CC&R’s typically entitled “Architectural Control.” In other words, your neighbor’s property will look as nice as yours. This means that there will not be an unkept yard, a broken-down vehicle on a front lawn, broken windows, etc.
3- What are other purposes of a Homeowner’s Association?
Depending on the project or community, the CC&R’s may require the HOA to maintain the exterior of the homes, townhomes or condos. If the project or community has a pool, clubhouse or other facilities commonly owned by the Homeowner’s Association, the HOA will operate and maintain those facilities.
4- Who pays for what the Homeowner’s Association dues?
The cost of services provided by the HOA are divided among the owners and assessed to the owners, typically to be paid monthly. The cost of services might include insurance, grounds keepers, street cleaners, pool maintenance technicians, managers, attorneys and so forth. Also included may be an amount to be set aside for reserves for future capital improvement projects. It all depends on what the CC&R’s state for the project or community you purchase in.
5- Do I have to pay my Assessment from the Homeowner’s Association?
Yes. The CC&R’s give the power to the HOA to assess and collect the assessment. There are typically late fees and interest charges on unpaid balances. Just like a mortgage on a home, the HOA can eventually foreclose on your property for non-payment of assessments.
6- Is there anything else a Homeowner’s Association does?
Other powers of an HOA would include the creation and enforcement of Rules & Regulations. Such rules might cover parking, pets, use of pools and other common facilities, excessive noise and disturbances, etc.
7- How is a Homeowner’s Association run or organized?
The owners in an HOA elect a Board of Directors from among the owners to govern the HOA. These elected homeowners organize themselves into officers such as President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and etc. It is this Board that hires service providers, establishes the annual budget, assesses the homeowners, creates the Rules & Regulation, etc. in accordance with the powers given them in the CC&R’s and other governing documents of the HOA.
8- Is a Homeowner’s Association for you?
If you like a neat, clean and orderly neighborhood and do not mind abiding by common sense rules, you would enjoy an HOA. If you do not like to follow rules and do not like being told and forced to keep your property up, an HOA is probably not for you.
Before you purchase in a project or community with an HOA – read the CC&R’s. Know what you are buying into.