Have you seen subdivisions wherein they have amazing landscapes? Do you wonder why some communities are quieter compared to others? Did you ever notice that other neighborhood have great amenities like clubhouses, swimming pools and other recreational facilities? Some people enjoy quite a lifestyle because they have Homeowners Association managing them.
Most homeowner’s association is a non-profit organization that is managed by group of professionals (usually residents) to maintain the community. They have two main functions and they are the following:
1. To enforce their covenant, conditions and restrictions in order to assist their members, regulate their activities and make assessments to their properties. 2. They collect fines and membership fees that will be used in maintaining the community.
Now you have seen how they work, find out what’s the deal with their rules? Read about them on the next section.
Covenant, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&R)
This, together with the by laws, are imposed by the HOA to manage the community. CC&R varies from one community to another. Although they are there to protect the interest of the homeowners, some of them are unagreeable and extreme.
Every homeowner’s action must be in accordance to his or her signed CC&R. With their existence, you just cannot paint your house red, conduct a party and even park your car anywhere. Some activities may need permission from the managing group to be approved.
This why before you decide to get a house in a particular community, you have to know their CC&R. Pretty sure you don’t want these rules to come in your way on how you want to manage your properties. If you are the type of person who does not want to be restricted, then you should find a community with Homeowners Association that is not so strict in imposing their CC&R.
Collection of Fees
The fees imposed by HOA really depend on the kind of amenities they have. The money that is collected periodically will be used for the up-keeping roads, street lamps, bodies of waters and many others. It may also be used to fund the recreational facilities like clubhouses and sporting facilities (that may come exclusive to their members).
For newly built subdivisions, where the developer handles the HOA, may have lower fees to start with. As they have growing numbers of homeowners, the role of maintaining the community will be passed on to them. This is the time where fees collected may increase. They may also establish fines or penalties in the event their code is broken.
Consequences of Non-Payment of Fees
Many homeowners association are very strict with their collections. If you fail to do so, they may impose a lien on your property or force foreclosure without undergoing due process. You can be evicted and your property may be sold to pay any outstanding balance. It is harsh but that is reality.
Tips for Homeowners
Homeowners Association is there to protect your interest and the value of your home. But most good neighborhoods have them. Therefore, before you decide to get in a community, learn about their HOA. Decide the affordability of their fees and the rules in increases. You need to study them carefully, because once you are in, you have no choice but to follow them.