How do homeowners associations work?

If you are thinking of purchasing a condo, then you will likely have to deal with a Homeowners Association (HOA). If you have never dealt with a homeowners association then this post can help explain what it entails and help alleviate some concerns.

Many people like homeowners associations because it serves as the governing body of the complex. They can function as a support group for common building expenses and repairs. On the other hand, there are homeowners who prefer to handle home repairs individually, which can be difficult where there are set rules that one must abide by.

You can decide for yourself. Here are some of the common things to know about homeowners associations:

“Homeownership association fees keep the building up to date.”

Fees
There are fees required with joining a homeowners association in addition to what you would pay for your condo. Fees vary depending on location, building style, amenities, etc.

According to lawyers.com, these fees are not standard across the board. For example, you must pay a yearly fee with one organization, but a monthly fee for another. Whatever the fees are, you will be required to pay them, as you cannot purchase a condo without being a part of the building association.

These fees are used for many aspects of the building’s maintenance, from repairs to servicing amenities. Whatever the building has to purchase, from a new roof, new exterior paint, or to modernize a front lobby, it will be taken from the homeowners association fund. Fees keep the building up to date and provide maintenance for common areas used by homeowners.

Rules
Aside from mandatory fees, there are rules you will have to comply with as well. Again, these will vary depending on the building and association. Whether these rules restrict the level of noise an owner can make, or maybe even the number of guests who can visit at a time, there could be a fine in place for not following them.

If restrictions are going to be burdensome, then perhaps owning a property that requires homeowners association may not be the right step for you. Some rules you might find advantageous, such as quiet hours or a check-in policy so that you know people aren’t walking around your building at random. At times some homeowners feel the rules can go too far¬†however, as House Logic explains. In 2014, a Myrtle Beach association decided to restrict the number of pets the homeowners could have. They established two pets was enough. A couple who had three pets at the time were issued a fine of $100 a day if one of the pets was not removed.

While this might seem invasive to some, there are homeowners who won’t be bothered by limiting the number of pets allowed. Nevertheless, before considering a home with an association fee, you need to be fully aware of all the rules before signing on.

Homeowners associations take care of building maintenance and repair.Condo buildings are community-focused.

Advantages
There are many benefits that come from a homeowners association as well. For example, the dues you pay will go to important upkeep items, which you would have to take care of yourself if you lived in a single family home.

Likewise, condo buildings tend to have amenities like pools or gyms or even restaurants. This can be beneficial, as you won’t have to pay for a membership to take advantage of these amenities. They are also community-focused, which means you will get to know your neighbors well and interact with them on a more consistent basis. If you are one who craves community interaction, then living in a condo with a homeowners association could be a good move.

The thought of rules and fees should not prevent you from looking into investing in a condo altogether. Homeowners associations are all unique and there may be ones that may make you feel right at home. When looking for a condo, make sure you understand all the aspects of not only the unit and the building, but the association connected to it as well.

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