Living in a Homeowners' Association Community: Is it Right for You?

Posted by Mary Ray on Thursday, May 20th, 2010 at 5:28pm.

A HOA, or a homeowners’ association, is an entity made up of a board of homeowners, and sometimes operating in conjunction with a management company. The purpose of the HOA is to create and enforce certain rules for the community and collect the monthly or annual dues involved.

What kind of "rules" may be your next question. The HOA's rules generally involve maintaining a level of consistency, capital improvements, and deciding on certain conveniences for the neighborhood. Ideally, the rules center around the protection of property values.

Why the "dues?" The collected dues are used for the upkeep and maintenance of the common areas. As a general rule, a HOA is not meant to be a profit-making venture.

Is living in a Cape Coral HOA community right for you?

That question can only be answered by you, the home buyer. Before entering into a home purchase agreement, here are some pros and cons to consider as you weigh your options.

Pros
Below are several ways in which a HOA is beneficial to a community.

Maintenance and general upkeep of common areas. These may include tennis courts, swimming pools, golf courses, work out centers, a marina, play grounds, gardens, and club houses. Without a HOA your community may not have the convenience and luxury of these amenities.

May provide services such as lawn care for each residence. This ensures a clean, well-kept look throughout the neighborhood at all times. You will never need to worry about taking care of these services yourself. You also won't have to worry about the "person on the block with the unkempt, overgrown lawn" because he won't be there.

Mediates disputes between residents. If you ever have a problem with your neighbor, such as a barking dog, an exceptionally loud vehicle, or maybe the guy who speeds through your neighborhood above the legal limit, the HOA is there. They should be able to help resolve the problem quickly and easily. Most of the time they make the decision without ever revealing where the complaint originated. This helps to keep the peace amongst the residents.  

Helps maintain or raise property values. This is done by regulating things that keep a neighborhood looking it's best. Rules could include such things as keeping garage doors closed, no work vehicles allowed in driveways overnight, no signs in front yards, etc.

Hosts regular events and parties, such as block parties, community yard sales, family nights, and more. These events help build camaraderie in the neighborhood.

Cons
Okay, get ready for some reasons people oppose HOAs

Some homeowners feel as if the HOA “Big Brother” is always watching and they don't like it at all.

Homeowners that wish to rent out or sell their residence may be required to have the potential new occupant screened by the HOA board for approval. This could hinder your ability to move within your planned time frame.

The dues are an added expense to consider when factoring how much home you can afford. The dues also may increase over the years, with or without warning. This is definitely something to check on.

A HOA has the right to place a lien against your property if your dues are not paid within a set time frame.

Tip:

If you are thinking about purchasing a Cape Coral home with an HOA, have a member of Sporleder-Ray Realty Group obtain a copy of the bylaws and rules. We will be happy, as your realtor, to make sure you are aware of, and feel comfortable with them.

Below is a list of Cape Coral waterfront communities, inland communities, and golf communities that have HOAs.

By David Sporleder | Sporleder-Ray Realty Group | david@davidsporleder.com| Google+

 

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Posted on Tuesday, May 25th, 2010 at 2:31am.

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