HOA living is becoming the norm in many communities. But is moving to an HOA community all that it’s made out to be? What is an HOA neighborhood association and are HOA fees worth it to move into one? Let’s look at what an HOA is, and the benefits of HOA living can bring to your family.
HOA Living: What Does HOA Stand For?
HOA stands for homeowners association. The definition of an association, in this case, is a non-profit organization or corporation. HOAs are dedicated to managing a common-interest development.
The beginning of the association starts with the developer of the homes. With the help of legal guidance, the developer creates governing documents for their new association. These documents include bylaws, rules and regulations, articles of incorporation, and covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs).
These laws keep the association managed and property values high. When residents move in and become association members, the development becomes an association and homeowners begin to feel a sense of community.
What Do You Need To Know Before You Move Into An HOA Neighborhood?
Before moving into a homeowners association, it is best to review the HOA’s governing documents first. It’s also a wise idea to try and determine the health of the association before deciding to buy or rent a house within the community.
Once a homeowner or tenant moves in the HOA, they automatically become subject to these governing documents. That is, you become an automatic member of the homeowners’ association as soon as you own a house in an HOA neighborhood.
From here, members can be part of the Board of Directors. They take the best interest of the community, enforce rules, and determine the amount for dues necessary to keep the HOA up and running.
What are these rules? You can find them in the governing documents. These include the declaration, bylaws, and rules of an HOA. Sure, it’s a lot of dry paperwork to go through, and they don’t make for exciting reading, either. Still, it’s a great idea to go through them at least once.
This way, you are at least familiar with the governing documents that control your HOA. It also prepares you to understand the rules of the community you are joining. Plus, it also lets you acquaint yourself with their policies and procedures. How they do things around here, so to speak. So the next time you need to get a permit for a home renovation, you can easily do so.
Benefits of Living in An HOA Neighborhood
What do you, as a tenant or homeowner, get in return for the HOA fees you now have to pay regularly? A well-run HOA should be able to provide you and your family with quality community association services. These include common area maintenance and landscaping. These services also cover a whole lot of other services, from trash collection to snow removal, from community child care to HOA bookkeeping services.
Living in an HOA neighborhood also means that there are certain regulations you must observe. These regulations are there with the comfort of everyone in mind. This means that if a neighbor is hosting loud parties, in violation of an HOA covenant, then you have the means to deal with them.
Plus, you don’t even have to deal with problem neighbors yourself. The HOA has various means to enforce the HOA rules and regulations, so you can peacefully let them handle it for you.
HOAs also like to uplift the culture and standard of living in the area they manage. Often, it means having a variety of social activities for HOA members, so you and your family can have plenty of opportunities to get to know the neighbors. Not only do you get to talk to your fellow homeowners during HOA meetings, but you can also chat them up as well during parties and social gatherings. And your kids can often make friends as they share the common amenities like the community pool, walking trail, or the tennis courts.
Making Your HOA Fees Worth It
As someone who is paying out their hard-earned money every time the HOA fees are due, you surely want to know where your money goes. The best way to understand where your HOA fees go is by asking for a copy of your HOA budget.
This budget should provide you with a breakdown of the various expenses that your HOA incurs.
By knowing which services your HOA pays for, you also become familiar with the services you should be getting. Aside from services, you are now also entitled to various amenities that your HOA offers. Try to take full advantage of what your community has in the way of common amenities.
These usually include things like amenity centers, community pools, and fitness facilities. Get your own amenity keys or access cards, so you and your family can enjoy these amenities when you want.
Getting Familiar With Your HOA Board
Living in an HOA does not just allow you and your family to live in a safe, clean neighborhood with plenty of amenities. The HOA community also presents an opportunity for resident involvement.
The best way to get involved with your HOA management is by attending the HOA annual meetings. This way, you and your fellow residents have a better idea of the projects and challenges that your community may be faced with. Plus, you get to address those issues together, as a community.
Some people view homeowners association and management companies as a negative. When in all reality, they keep the property values of a community high and the investments of homeowners as safe as possible.
Ready to Enjoy the Benefits of HOA Living?
So you’re now convinced that the HOA life is the one for you? Start it right by finding a reliable moving service to do the job. Check out our services directory, and you can surely find one that’s perfect for your moving day