Homeowners Association: What You Need to Know
If you have recently purchased a new house on a housing complex, condominium or townhouse complex, congratulations! You can now decorate your house however you want, plant that pine tree you’ve always wanted and at long last fulfill your dream of keeping an ostrich as a pet in your backyard!…or can you? What’s that? This complex is owned by the Homeowners association?
You see, by buying a house in a certain complex, you may have inadvertently become a member of the Homeowners association. And no, you have no say in it, you immediately become a member by purchasing a house owned by them. But hey, it’s not all about taking away your beloved overgrown endangered pets, they can also help you out, and in figuring out how we’re here to help you out!, so here’s the main things to know if you belong to the Home owners association:
The Homeowners Association and You
First off, the Homeowners association’s exact foundation date is uncertain, but it really got rolling in 1960’s.It has greatly evolved since then, however the general idea is the same, which is to have a set of rules and guidelines that all members of the housing complex should abide, in order to have a friendly and cooperating community.
These rules are called Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (C, C & R) and include such things as what approved colors you can paint you house, what plants you can have in your yard, how many pets, if any, you can own, and how many cars you can own and park. And if you break these rules, you are normally issued a fine.
However if you refuse to pay these fines, or constantly violate the rules, the Homeowners association are sometimes legal entities, and as such can enforce the clauses on the contract that the homeowners signed, so they can in very extreme cases force the sale of the house. And of course you have to pay monthly or annual fees that go into maintenance of the complex. I know, I know, it sounds a lot more restrictive and a lot less accommodating, but it’s not all about fees and restrictions.
The Homeowners association will make sure you never have a nuisance neighbor, the value of your property will at least remain stable, if it doesn’t actually rise in value as the community grows, and you will sometimes have access to such amenities as a pool, a golf course or rec center. You will also have a voice and vote in decisions made by and for the community, and may even become part of the board.
So in conclusion, when buying a home ask if they belong to the Homeowners Association and if they can provide you with the rules and basic laws that govern it so you are met with no nasty surprises. Other than that, enjoy your new living accommodations and be the best member of that community you can!