August 5, 2017 | Barb Huntley
A Homeowners Association (HOA) is an organization in a subdivision, planned community or condominium that makes and enforces rules for the properties within its jurisdiction. The purchase of the property automatically makes the homeowner a member of the HOA and dues are required. Associations can be very restrictive about what members can do with their properties. It’s important to note that HOA’s are only required for subdivisions, planned communities or condominiums. If you own private property and a home, you won't be dealing with HOA. If you are someone who doesn’t like being told what they can do, especially in your own home, buying a property with HOA may not be the best choice for you.

While it may seem like an added fee to your monthly mortgage or rent, HOA fees are meant to cover the upkeep of the overall property. When you see the lawn being mowed, common areas cleaned, siding being fixed, and snow shoveled without you having to move an inch, remember this is where those monthly payments are going to. It is important when budgeting for your new property to know the cost of HOA fees and make sure they are within your budget.

HOAs have their own rules that are usually strictly enforced. These rules can vary from the color of your door to whether you can have a pet. It is important to go through all the rules and regulations of the HOA before your property purchase. Once you purchase your property you are tied to these rules.

Homeowners' associations can be wonderful when they prevent your neighbor from parking their RV outside your house, but your worst enemy when you’re required to perform expensive maintenance on your home that you don't think is necessary or impose rules that you find too restrictive. Before you purchase a property subject to HOA rules and fees, make sure you know exactly what you are getting yourself into. 


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