Feb 4, 2021

Dealing With Home Owner's Associations

Many developments in the last 30 or more years are governed by Home Owner's Associations.  This is true both in gated communities with private streets, as well as, other tracts with public city or county streets.  Generally, there is a monthly HOA fee to pay for various amenities, which can include pools, tennis, recreation centers and if gated private streets, gate guards and security.  There can even be assessments when needed to pay for big ticket repairs to Association amenities.  Theoretically, HOA's are good for property values; but they do add monthly expense.  All HOA's come with rules and CC & R's, Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions, which govern various activities within the community.

Most important, any work done to the outside of the home often in addition to requiring city and or county approval also requires approval by the HOA Architectural Review Committee.   Whoa with you if you start work before these approvals are provided by all governing authorities.  If you do start work and or complete the job without such approvals, you can be forced to tear it down and or face incredible fines that if not paid could result in the foreclosure of your home.  So, Don't Do It no matter what the time pressures.  Get the approvals first. 

HOA's can be difficult to work with if you don't follow the rules.  If you have a non conformist personality, it is probable best that you not buy a home tied to a HOA.  However, if you don't want a purple house next door to you or are opposed to looking at cars parked on your neighbor's front lawn, HOA's are designed to prevent anything that could diminish property values.  The good news is that areas that have HOA's tend to maintain their property values best and even see more appreciation than areas without them.