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Ten Things Every Homebuyer Should Know About HOAs

  1. Do your HOA homework before you make an offer!  Don’t buy the perfect dream home in the neighborhood from hell.
  2. Know who is in control. Almost always the association is a non-profit corporation and is governed by a board of directors. This is either the declarant (developer/builder) or elected residents. Only 30% of associations contract with a professional management company for day to day operations. Most associations are self-managed by volunteers.
  3. Know if your association is pre or post transition. The process of transferring control from the developer to a resident elected board is called ‘transition’. The developer has wide latitude to amend the documents and change development standards when in control.
  4. Ask for and read the governing documents (Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions; and By-laws) before making an offer.
  5. Ask for and review the association financials. Review the operating budget, balance sheet and make sure the reserve fund is adequate for future capital projects.
  6. Know that association fees (assessments) are required and that the board usually has the authority to impose special assessments.
  7. Know that you have to live by the rules or gain the support of the community to amend the governing documents and rules.
  8. Know that the board has the power to assess fines and late fees, restrict access to services, place liens, and foreclose.
  9. Know that HOA laws vary widely by state and are complicated. Right or wrong, lawsuits are expensive, time consuming and stressful. Better to educate yourself rather than becoming involved in a lawsuit.
  10. Don’t complain if you didn’t do your homework and purchased in a community with HOA issues. Your alternatives include accepting the issues, making things better by becoming involved, filing a lawsuit, or moving.
HOA-USA   Home Buyers and Sellers

HOA-USA


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