Things to Consider Before Moving to An HOA Community
Homeowners Associations (HOA) are very popular due to community curb appeal, amenities, and its privacy or exclusivity. It is important to keep in mind that each HOA is different and varies from one to the next, as they each have a unique set of governing rules and regulations. This can be a new and different experience for any owner that has not yet lived in a homeowner’s association. Before purchasing a home in an HOA community, learn more about the neighborhood and ask questions, take notes, and evaluate if the community is the right fit for your family. Here are some of the most important things to consider before moving to an HOA community:
1. HOA Fees, Special Assessments, and Financial Stability
The number one thing to understand first is the financial stability of the Association. How much money do they have to take care of the community? The two best resources to understand this are a financial statement and reserve disclosure report. Both of these reports will help show if the community is financially sound or not. If they aren’t, you can expect assessments to increase and special assessments to occur for improvements. Something to take into consideration prior to moving into a HOA neighborhood is their monthly Assessments. This fee varies according to each community association. The charge is established on a regular basis, typically monthly or annually to all its members. Communities have incorporated assessments as a fee that may sufficiently cover for day-to-day operations, maintenance services, community events and even budget shortfalls. All members of the association are required to pay the monthly assessment. Also check to see if the community has any “special assessment” or contact the associations management team to learn more about additional payments. Special assessments are a supplementary charge, that are put into place when current funds are insufficient. Although this additional fee in most cases it is not a reoccurring, special assessments can place a financial burden on the homeowners due to the increase in costs.
2. Rules & Regulations Another very important thing to consider are the Rules and Regulations of the community. Automatically when you purchase a house in an HOA neighborhood you become part of the association, which means the rules apply to you and your property. The rules and regulations are written in a document form called CC&R, which are the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions of the community. There are also supporting rules and regulations at most communities. These documents should be provided when you purchase your home and will outline the community guidelines which must be followed by all members of the association.
3. Procedures and Home Improvements
If you have plans for renovations, it is important to know your HOA procedures for home improvements proceeds. Homeowners that reside in an HOA must submit a completed ACC application and receive approval prior to starting any work. According to the associations CC&R’s the committee must diligently approve or deny the owners application request for modifications. For example exterior changes such as paint & landscaping must be submitted for approval prior to any changes.
Often this mandatory process can be frustrating and inconvenient for homeowners that reside is the HOA. However, the ACC plays a huge role as they ensure that the community retains curb appeal, uniformity, and overall property value. With good communication and a fully completed application; the process should be smooth.
4. How to Participate in HOA Meetings
Homeowners’ associations hold regular scheduled Board Meetings in which they discuss finances, upcoming or current projects, neighborhood events and other important topics concerning the community. All members of the association should be notified of the meetings ahead of time and be provided with a detailed agenda of which should include the outline topics discussed or addressed during this meeting.
Members of the association are encouraged to attend meetings to gain more knowledge about their community. It gives them the opportunity to meet the Board of Directors that have a huge impact on the decisions being made to operate the association. In most cases, board meetings will have an open forum which allows homeowners to ask questions or give their input regarding certain topics.
Alliance Association Management encourages everyone to get informed and learn about the community you live in or plan to move to. For more questions or information about homeowners associations contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 951.412.1662