Today I wanted to take some time to talk to you about some things you should consider before buying a property governed by a homeowner’s association.
Before you purchase a property with an HOA, I’ve listed five things that you should take into consideration:
1. What is the cost of the association? What are the monthly costs going to be and what will be included in the membership? The HOA membership dues are an automatic payment that you will need to pay on top of your mortgage payment and other taxes, so make sure it’s something that you can budget in and are comfortable with.
2. Understand what you’re actually paying for and what you’re obligated to do in regards to maintenance or upkeep. There are certain HOAs that are going to take care of all the groundskeeping, and others that will require you to take care of it yourself.
3. What are the rules? Understanding those rules and regulations will help you make a better decision about the neighborhood you’re moving into. Sometimes it will be in regards to what facilities you can use and when they’re open. Other times it will be about which days you can set out your trash, where you can park specific vehicles (or if you can park commercial vehicles in the driveway at all), and other regulations. If you don’t follow the HOA rules, then it could result in fines or expulsion from the HOA.
4. Are you happy with the way a property looks? When you’re buying a property with an HOA, you more than likely won’t have control over certain things, like the colors of the house or front door, what can be hung from the porch, or if you can have a screen door. Make sure that you like the way everything looks when you buy your property, because you may not be able to change it.
5. Can you get involved in the HOA? Is it a small board or more of an open, town hall feel? See if you’re able to join that HOA so you can have a say in how it impacts your neighborhood.
Be sure to consider these things carefully before purchasing a home. If you have any additional questions or you’re looking to buy or sell a home, please give me a call. I’d be happy to help!