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What is an HOA?

Wondering what a homeowners association is and why communities have them? The primary reason for creating a homeowner association is to uphold and enrich property values. This is accomplished by enforcing the community’s covenants and maintaining the common areas. Both of these keep the overall community looking nice and keep the home somewhat cohesive.

The association is started as a non-profit organization, created by the developer of a community. Similar to other non-profit organizations or corporations, there has to be a leadership team, which in this case is called the HOA Board of Directors. Once a family buys a home in the development, they become a member of the homeowners association. When the community starts to grow, the residents can elect the members who are most qualified and interested in overseeing the association to serve on their Board of Directors. Once a certain percentage or number of the community’s homes are sold, the developer turns full control of the association over to the board.

Every homeowners association is subject to its state’s property laws, but they each have their own governing documents. These documents include rules and regulations, bylaws, ARC’s, and other restrictive covenants. All of these guidelines are intended to define the principles of the community for the sole purpose of shielding property values.

The restrictive covenants vary from different associations. Most of the policies within the guidelines deal with architectural enjoyments such as fences, pools, porches, and other exterior home additions. When buying a home in a homeowners association, most people place value on the house and its surroundings. They want to be proud of their communities’ appearance. This way neighbors that don’t care or don’t have the time, must cut their lawn and make sure the exterior of their home is acceptable and attractive.

The biggest advantage of a homeowners association is the shared common areas within the community. Most associations have pools, clubhouses, volleyball courts, and other fun amenities that one could not afford on their own. Luckily, anyone living in the community can take advantage of these comforts, which are funded by the members’ dues. If the dues are not paid on time, the HOA and its management company are required to enforce rules and late fees to keep the budget of a community on track.

A homeowners association is created to do the job everyone in the community wants done. Ultimately, residents in a neighborhood like to see a well put-together area where they live and call home. An HOA makes sure this is maintained and enforced to keep all of its members happy and desiring to stay in the community.

 

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