What Does That Mean?

You have been searching endlessly for the perfect home, and here it is, right before your eyes.  It’s everything you had imagined your dream home would be.  As you begin to scan your surroundings, you can hear the whispers of a happy future that includes kids, a tree house, home improvements and possibly that pool you’ve always dreamed of having.  It is at that moment your Realtor says two words that turn the happy whispers to the sounds of screeching brakes, stopping your vision in its tracks. “Homeowners association”!  Your next question quickly becomes, “What is a homeowners association, and what does that mean?”

The legal definition of a homeowners association according to USlegal.com is
” …an organization of homeowners of a particular subdivision, condominium or planned unit development. The purpose of a home owners association is to provide a common basis for preserving maintaining and enhancing their homes and property. Most homeowners’ associations are non-profit corporations. They are subject to state statutes that govern non-profit corporations and homeowner associations. The associations provide services, regulate activities, levy assessments, and impose fines. Usually, each member of a homeowners association pays assessments. Those assessments or dues are used to pay for expenses that arise from having and maintaining common property.”

What could life be like living in a community with a homeowners association?

When belonging to a quality homeowners association, the benefits are evident in the beautiful neighborhood entrance, the mowed and maintained common neighborhood property and vermin control.  It prevents neighborhood eyesores through rules regulations to control the overall neighborhood appearance, which are all great assets of being a part of a community that has a HOA.  A con to being a part of an association is, if you are the homeowner that gets creatively inspired, the HOA may request you to stop expressing yourself, causing an emotional response from the repression.  A real life example is a homeowner who decided that he would create the coolest mailbox in the county.  He designed and then built a mailbox that was an airplane with all the bells and whistles.  It was a favorite among the young kids in the neighborhood, but not so much with the HOA!  He was ordered to dismantle the awesome mailbox because it broke the associations mailbox regulations.  It seemed then, everyone felt the sting of living in a restricted community.  So, if you have a creative side and need complete creative freedom, a HOA community might not be the best place to buy your next home.

A key to peaceful living is understanding the boundaries of the community.  When buying a home that is a part of a HOA, be sure to read carefully the rules and regulations.

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