Photo courtesy of La Citta Vita on Flickr.
Over the years, homeowner’s associations in neighborhoods have become increasingly common. A homeowner’s association is the governing body of a neighborhood, townhome, or condominium community. The HOA is responsible for maintaining the quality of life within the community or neighborhood. When a buyer purchases a home in a neighborhood with an HOA, they automatically become a member, and must pay monthly or annual dues. The HOA typically uses these funds for general maintenance of common areas in the neighborhood, such as a park or pool. The HOA is usually made up of homeowners who live in the neighborhood. However, some larger neighborhoods may have an HOA managed by a large corporation.
Each homeowner’s association establishes its own set of covenants, conditions, and restrictions, or CC&R’s. These rules define what homeowners can and cannot do to their homes or the neighborhood. Noise restrictions, landscaping guidelines, property fencing, and home paint color are just a few topics that are typically covered in HOA CC&R’s. For example, deciding to paint your home neon green could be against the CC&R’s in your neighborhood. If a homeowner breaks one of these rules, the HOA can set a fine. Homeowners who disagree with the CC&R’s can appeal to the HOA to change the rule.
There are several advantages to living in a neighborhood with an HOA. One of the HOA’s primary responsibilities is the upkeep of neighborhood common areas. The HOA will maintain the neighborhood pool, park, and other amenities for residents to enjoy. By establishing CC&R’s, the HOA also helps protect home property values in the neighborhood. These rules serve as guidelines to help preserve the quality of homes in the neighborhood. Finally, the HOA gives homeowners a chance to have an active voice in their community. Homeowners can be elected by their neighbors to serve on the HOA, or volunteer for HOA events.
Each homeowner’s association is different. If you’re thinking about buying a home in a neighborhood with an HOA, it’s a good idea to review the CC&R’s to make sure you agree with all the restrictions. You may find your plans for your home clash with the rules. Talk to other homeowners about their experiences with the HOA to get an idea if this neighborhood is a right fit for you. If you have questions about purchasing a home in a community with an HOA, talk to your agent. Our agents can answer any of your questions about buying a home in Austin. Contact us today!