RealManage Insight

Your Ultimate HOA Home Buying Guide

by Holly Bunch on Oct 26, 2021 9:38:00 AM

HOAs are becoming increasingly widespread in numerous places across North America. Despite this, many individuals are unaware of what HOAs are or what they do. If you are thinking about buying a property in an HOA community or want to learn more about them, keep reading to get some of your questions addressed.

What is an HOA?

The abbreviation HOA stands for homeowner's association, and it is an organization that assists in the maintenance of properties and familiar places within the neighborhood in which they are participating. Following HOA regulations and paying monthly or annual fees are often required to buy a home in an HOA-managed neighborhood. These rules and costs, on the other hand, are beneficial. They assist the HOA in maintaining any common areas in the community and maintaining the region's property values.

Tips for Buying a Home With an HOA

Every HOA is unique, so do your homework if you are thinking about buying a home in an HOA region. Here are some pointers to help you learn more about the HOA and prepare to work with them.

Research Assessment Fees

Almost every community association has assessment fees, which vary in price depending on what your association covers. These costs also cover common spaces in your neighborhood, such as pools, parks, and fitness centers. Investigate assessment fees in your area, and what they cover so you know what the money is utilized for in terms of operating costs.

Get to Know the Community

Nothing distinguishes an HOA more than the individuals who live in it. So before you decide to buy a house, talk to some of your possible neighbors and attend one of the community association meetings to observe what happens. Community board members govern the HOA, so getting to know them might give you a fair picture of what to anticipate from the community.

Review Governing Documents

Looking over the association's governing documents can ensure that any of its rules or regulations do not catch you off guard. An HOA's rules, powers, and obligations are spelled out in its governing documents. Therefore, it is a good idea you request a copy of the governing documents from your real estate agent or the association before you buy. Doing so will allow you to examine them on your own time and determine whether you are prepared to abide by the restrictions that the community association imposes or not.

Examine the HOA's Finances

HOAs might be vulnerable to fraud or mismanagement. If your homeowner's association cannot meet unforeseen costs, you may be on the hook for the charges as a special assessment. It may also affect your ability to receive a home loan since many mortgage lenders require homeowners associations to maintain adequate reserve cash before authorizing a home loan. Request a copy of the HOA's reserve analysis, which will break down anticipated spending and existing funds, giving you a sense of how well equipped your possible community association is for unexpected events.

Once You Buy, Get Involved

The best method to accommodate yourself to your new homeowner's association and help improve it so you can enjoy a higher quality of life is to get active with it as soon as you move into your new home. However, you don't have to wait long to get involved. There are usually always chances to volunteer on an HOA board or committee, which will give you a say in how the HOA operates and how it may benefit your neighborhood and fellow homeowners.

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