Homeowners Association (HOA)

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A homeowners association is an organization designed to protect and maintain the community of real estate.

What is a homeowners association?

A homeowners association or HOA serves to make and enforce rules for properties in its real estate community. These rules’ purpose is to maintain order and the aesthetics of the community. Furthermore, they have significant legal power which stipulates certain conditions on owners and their properties.

The HOA’s rules are usually in a document called the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions or CC&Rs. This document should also expressly state the penalties for violating the conditions

If you purchase property within an HOA’s jurisdiction, the homeowner automatically becomes a member who must pay the dues or HOA fees.

How much do the dues cost?

Each HOA is unique. As a result, your dues can be monthly or annual. However, standard HOA fees are between $200 and $400 per month. However, this number can dramatically increase in high-end communities

Homeowners association dues can pay for expenses within your home and outside your home. For example, your water bill, cable bill, trash pick-up, exterior maintenance, such as a gardener may all be covered under HOA. More high-end communities may have HOA dues that provide a pool, fitness center, or even a golf course. Most HOA fees go into the association’s reserve fund, which can cover road and sidewalk maintenance and professional management fees

If a homeowner fails to pay his dues, HOAs can place a lien on the property

Benefits of an HOA

Around the 1980s, developers started building communities that eventually created the homeowners association. The regulations served to maintain the community and guarantee that all new neighbors will serve the common interests of the development. One significant benefit of the HOA is that these rules protect property values

For example, CC&Rs may dictate that owners cannot park broken-down vehicles in their driveways or front yards, must maintain their lawns, and make sure that there is no peeling paint on their property. You have no control if your neighbor violates these regulations. Joe Magdziarz, a real-estate appraiser, said that these things could easily lower your property value by 5 to 10%. Fortunately, HOA will protect the community by enforcing the CC&Rs with violation notices, fines, and eventually litigation.

By protecting the aesthetics and uniform appearance of the development, HOA helps maintain strong property values.

Furthermore, your HOA dues may help fund trash pick-up, snow removal, and any other amenities, such as a tennis court, in your community

Disadvantages of an HOA

Cost

The high cost of association dues is an extra monthly expense. Some homeowners may not feel that this fee is justified.

Rules and Regulations

The regulations set forth by the HOA may seem overbearing or too restrictive for some homeowners. Many HOAs are very specific about uniformity in the community, down the color of your front door. Homeowners who want to customize their property and be unique may not agree with all the rules

Association of Homeowners

Because an HOA is compromised of people, it may be difficult to form a consensus regarding community decisions.