RealManage Insight

Top Tips for Moving Into an HOA

by Guest Blogger on Mar 2, 2021 9:45:00 AM

Are you moving into an HOA neighborhood? This process can be both exciting and challenging — especially for new homeowners. Fortunately, you can use a few tricks to help you adapt quickly to your new life. It doesn’t have to be so overwhelming. Here is how you can make your move into an HOA neighborhood more straightforward.

1. Write Down Contact Information

Your first step should be to write down the HOA’s contact information. There’s a chance you already have the email address or phone number, but it’s still important to double-check. This step will ensure you know who to talk to whenever you need assistance. It’s a bright idea to create a folder on your computer or phone with contact information, so you’re organized. You could also print out a physical document to keep in the kitchen or office. Either way, you don’t want to forget this step.

2. Read All Guidelines

This tip might be obvious. However, you can never know your HOA rules too well. Your neighborhood might have requirements that span 20 or 30 pages. It’s crucial to buckle down and do this reading. Otherwise, you won’t be familiar with what your HOA entails. If you don’t review your neighborhood’s guidelines, you might have to pay extra fees because you accidentally violated them. Take an hour after getting settled to examine these regulations. Be sure to save those documents online to ensure you have access.

3. Locate Your Amenities

Here’s more fun activity for you and your family to check off the list. Take a break while moving to walk around your new neighborhood. Your HOA likely offers various amenities, so it’s a bright idea to see where everyone gathers as a community. Keep an eye out for facilities with gyms and pools. Your neighborhood probably has a few parks and trails, too. If you find these places sooner rather than later, you can enjoy them earlier. It would be best if you also remembered to grab any keys or passes you need to access amenities.

4. Remember Upkeep Requirements

There’s no denying that upkeep can be an essential requirement for HOAs. These organizations pride themselves on upholding communities with curb appeal. That’s a top reason why many people move to HOA neighborhoods — they will always look attractive. Do your best to remember these requirements as you move into your house. Try not to scuff your hardwood floors or chip of any exterior paint while bringing furniture inside. It would be best if you also kept trash rules in mind while throwing away boxes and plastic.

5. Consider Volunteer Opportunities

There should be several volunteer opportunities in your neighborhood. HOAs work as a collective to support the community, and they sometimes need assistance to carry out specific initiatives. If you see a flyer or poster with information about volunteering, you should consider signing up. This opportunity could be a great way to meet new people as you get adjusted. You might also be able to find groups you can join. There should be smaller committees run by neighbors to plan events and activities.

6. Build a Monthly Budget

This step doesn’t need to happen immediately. However, it would be best if you made budgeting a priority. You likely already know HOAs require separate fees, and these expenses can amount to hundreds of dollars every month. Therefore, you need to create a plan that makes managing things more accessible. If you need a starting point, you can always begin with your move. Research various moving truck companies to cut back on costs. Look for businesses that offer free boxes to make your move cheaper. You can also find ways to save money on furniture, rugs, and more. It’s helpful to learn how to save money now to apply those actions to your new lifestyle.

7. Meet Your Neighbors

Why did you decide to live in an HOA neighborhood? There’s probably a part of you that wanted to be involved in a like-minded environment. After all, HOAs pride themselves on community. That’s why you need to get out there and meet your neighbors. Take a break from moving for a few minutes to say hello. This act of kindness will help you start on the right foot with your neighbors. If you open up lines of communication, you can cultivate a fantastic relationship. That’s a must for staying sane while living in an HOA.

8. Bookmark ARC Documents

Do you know what ARC means? It’s one of several real estate terms you should know when you move into an HOA. This organization is the Architectural Review Committee. Your HOA uses ARC to approve or deny requested renovations. Therefore, you need to be familiar with how it operates. You never want to start a project only to be stuck with something ARC doesn’t accept. It can be a costly mistake not to review ARC-related documents. As a result, you need to ensure you understand the processes.

9. Sign up for Notifications

HOAs usually offer various ways to get involved. They’re also an association, so you should be ready to receive multiple emails and other messages regarding life in the neighborhood. It’s essential to stay connected, so you receive those updates. It might seem a bit annoying to receive so much communication from your HOA. You don’t have to sign up for every newsletter, but HOAs need to get essential tidbits of information to their residents. It would help if you tried not to miss these alerts.

10. Attend the Annual Meeting

Your HOA probably conducts a yearly meeting to reconvene as a community. It might even have a biannual or monthly session so people can connect more frequently. Here, you can find everyone in your community talking about various topics about your HOA. This time is often used for solving problems, too. Be sure to know when your next meeting will be. It might pop up on your schedule in the next month or so, depending on when you moved. Aim to be at that meeting, so you learn what’s happening in the neighborhood.

Use These Tricks to Get Acquainted With Your HOA

There’s always a flurry of emotions when moving. You probably feel excited, nervous, and stressed. Those emotions can become amplified when you’re entering a new community like an HOA. How do you know what to expect? It’s wise to take a few steps to set yourself up for success as you get settled. Use these tips to make your transition easier.

Guest Author: Rose Morrison

Rose Morrison is a homeownership and home improvement writer, as well as the managing editor of Renovated. Check her out on Twitter to see more of her work.

Purpose of an HOA Board Meeting - Download

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