What is an HOA?
Understanding the Basics
You want to buy a new home. No matter if you’re buying a condo, townhouse, or free-standing home in a neighborhood with shared common areas and amenities, chances are these areas are maintained by an HOA.
The number of people choosing to live in homes with HOA’s is on the rise! HOA’s are very common here in Southwest Florida. You will find that there are no two HOA’s that are the same, nor are there two that are equal.
Is an HOA right for you?
Well this all depends on the on the type of home and community that best fits your lifestyle. Are you a person who gets excited about a tidy, aesthetically pleasing, and well organized community? Or are you a person that believes buying your own home should give you the freedom to make changes you want to make without having an HOA having complete control over your own property?
The choice is yours. There is no right or wrong answer…it simply depends on YOU!!!
What is an HOA?
HOA is short for Home Owners Association. The definition of an home owners association is an incorporated, nonprofit organization made up of a board of homeowners from within that community. The HOA board members are elected by all the homeowners of that particular community. The HOA board members govern and enforce bylaws within the community and what are often referred to as CC&R’s. Each HOA has it’s own declaration of CC&R’s.
What are CC&R’s?
CC&R stands for Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions. These pretty much state what the homeowners can and can’t do. The CC&R’s make sure “the community retains the look and feel of the way it was built.”
Here are some examples of CC&R’s:
- Restrictions that limit vehicle storage or recreational vehicle parking
- Permissible colors for the exterior of your house
- Property and landscaping standards
- Speed limit in neighborhood
- Limits on what type and what size dog you may have
- Established operating times for common areas, pools, and fitness centers
Are HOA’s Expensive?
The monthly or annual home owner association fee’s can vary widely, depending on the amenities offered by the HOA, size of your home, and location of the community itself.
Did you just say MONTHLY or YEARLY FEES?!?
OK, you might be put off by those reoccurring fees. Remember, there are several amenities and common areas that your HOA fees may include that you have access to daily.
Here are some examples:
- Swimming Pools
- Security Gates
- Fitness Centers
- Lawn Service
- Children’s Playgrounds
- Dog Parks
- Tennis Courts
Let’s face it, the more amenities your community offer, the higher your HOA fees will likely be. On the bright side, your fees cover the cost of maintaining these common areas and amenities. No mowing the yard or cleaning the pool for you!!! You live in an HOA community!!!
Now remember…there are many pros and cons to living in an HOA. Not everything is good and not everything is bad.
- They maintain common areas
- They help keep uniformity
- HOA’s help homes retain their value
- They meditate problems on your behalf
- You may have combined utility bills
- Cost of HOA fees
- Pet Restrictions
- Restrictions on Vehicle Types and Quantities
- Maintaining Curb Appeal
- Limits on exterior home modification
In your journey to find the perfect home that fits your lifestyle here in Southwest Florida, you are going to see “HOA” over and over again. These communities are becoming very common for retirees, first-time homeowners, or for people who just want the maintenance free lifestyle, with all the amenities.
Only you can decide if an HOA is right for you and your lifestyle. Just keep in mind that an HOA’s goal is not to meddle, it’s merely to maintain a neighborhood aesthetic. However, if you don’t like being told what to do with your home, living under the rules of an HOA might not be for you.
Whatever your choice may be, I’m here to help you find your perfect Southwest Florida home. Give me a call today and lets get started making your dream of purchasing a home, a reality.