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Unpacking the World of Homeowners Associations (HOAs)

HOA communities aren’t as common as they once were, but they still exist across the country. An HOA, or Homeowners Association, is a group of people that creates and enforces rules and standards in an apartment complex, condominium complex, gated community, or neighborhood. There are penalties for non-compliance with regulations, and you have to pay a monthly fee to the organization. If you have never lived in an HOA community before, here is everything you need to know about HOAs.

How an HOA Works
An HOA is typically established in a multi-unit building or a neighborhood of single-family homes in order to make and enforce rules related to the management and upkeep of the properties under their jurisdiction. In order to buy a home or unit in an HOA-managed property, you will need to become a member of the HOA. This means you will need to pay monthly fees and will be subjected to fines if you don’t follow the rules.

Who is in the HOA?
The HOA is made up of a governing body or board of directors who are elected. They uphold a document of restrictive covenants that is typically called a Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions or CC&Rs.

What Do the CC&Rs Cover?
The CC&Rs set conditions or expectations for owners about property maintenance and upkeep. They may restrict landscaping, yard decorations, holiday decorations, fencing, house paint, siding, porches, decks, patios, gazebos, trees, water features, and more. There are penalties outlined for violating guidelines or not complying with regulations. In most cases, the penalties are fees or forced compliance.

Pros and Cons of an HOA
Like any other governing body, an HOA has advantages and disadvantages. The benefits of an HOA are:
 Clear regulations and guidelines that improve the appearance of the properties and ensure their upkeep.
 Maintain a uniform appearance for all properties.
 Provide some services in exchange for HOA fees, including landscaping, maintenance of parking lots and common areas, snow removal, and security.
 Conflict resolution for disputes between neighbors.

Some of the drawbacks of an HOA are:
 Monthly fees and fines.
 Living with the restrictions of HOA rules and regulations.
 Rules are upheld by a small group of people who may not represent everyone’s best interests.
 In some states, HOAs can foreclose upon your home.
 HOAs can subject you to inspections or assessments.
 You may not be able to rent out your home, get a roommate, or have houseguests for extended periods of time.
 There is little freedom to customize your property.

If you’re interested in buying or selling a home in the Phoenix West Valley area, contact us at Home Realty. Our agents are highly skilled and experienced and make it easy to navigate the home buying or selling process. Call us today at (623) 209-3200 or contact us online to get started.

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