September 5th, 2014 By Kristi Fox Satsky in Blogs.
So you’ve found the perfect home. It has everything you could possibly want, and more. Lots of storage, an open kitchen with top of the line appliances, a game room for your kids, and even a swimming pool with beautiful landscaping. It is in the right neighborhood with great schools and you’ve even met some great potential neighbors.
But, there’s one thing you may not be sure about.
Your HOA, or, Home Owners Association.
Typically, an HOA is formed in order to maintain common residential areas. This can consist of condominiums, townhomes or single-family residential areas. As a legal entity, they are there for your protection with the main purpose of helping to maintain community order and assisting you in retaining your home’s value. Simply, to protect your investment!
Although their duties may vary depending on the area, the basic premise of a Home Owner’s Association is to make sure deed restrictions and bylaws are followed, to approve or deny new construction that may not conform to the neighborhood specifications, establish and collect monthly or annual maintenance fees, some provide a venue for functions, provide security such as a neighborhood watch, enforce rules and regulations, maintain common areas, and sometimes streets and landscaping, and provide common storage if necessary. Common areas range from swimming pools to fishing ponds, sports courts and club houses and everything in between!
If you move into a neighborhood with a Home Owner’s Association, joining is almost always mandatory, as are the dues that come along with it. When you join, you are required to adhere to their standards on issues ranging from landscaping to design, storage buildings and landscaping and more. An HOA also has the authority to levy fines based on any violation of their rules and are allowed to change those rules according to their own bylaws.
A well managed HOA will be able to do the following…
-Maintain all amenities or equipment. This is especially important if your complex has a workout area or your neighborhood has a community pool.
-Resolve disputes between neighbors.
-Help deter nuisances such as solicitors, create a Neighborhood Watch to combat criminal activity, or even assist in keeping homeowners in compliance with city ordinances and regulations.
-Keep homeowners apprised of changes in local or state laws.
-Create a sense of community among residents through social events
All of this may sound intimidating and maybe even a little bit scary! Especially with the barrage of stories in the news about HOA’s running amok. But, rest assured that there are many benefits to being part of your Home Owner’s Association and most do exist with the sole purpose of assisting home owners, exercise reasonable rules and try to create a bond among residents. Their goal is to protect your home’s value, and that is absolutely worth the little bit of rule-following and minor fees you must pay.
There’s no shortage of wonderful neighborhoods with fantastic Home Owner’s Associations here in Bryan/College Station and now is a great time to buy! When you’re ready, give me a call and together will we find the perfect neighborhood for you! And please don’t forget, I am never too busy for your referrals!
Kristi Fox Satsky