Are you looking to purchase a new home? Is there a Homeowners Association in your new neighborhood? Are you wondering what their responsibilities are?
You may know that you’ll be paying homeowners association management fees each month. You may also have access to a number of facilities and services based on your membership.
Yet homeowners association management companies are responsible for more than you might think.
Here’s what you need to know about what they do.
1. Common Areas
One of the perks of an HOA is that you’ll have access to a number of desirable “common areas,” which can extend your living space a bit.
You may, for example, have access to indoor and/or outdoor pools. Or you may be able to use a clubhouse with a common room and fitness facility. Oftentimes, you can rent these buildings out for gatherings for a small fee.
Some housing sections have spaces with playgrounds available for common use. Others may have athletic courts or walking paths. Still, other facilities may have a beach area that members are invited to use and bring guests to.
HOA property management companies are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of these areas. They may, for example, hire a pool company to make sure the facility gets cleaned regularly. Or they may have a landscaping company make sure that parks are always neatly trimmed and clear from potential safety hazards.
Your fees may also go toward the hiring of employees who can help keep these facilities up to standard. Your pool may require lifeguards, or the clubhouse may need an athletic trainer. If you’re going to use your common areas a lot, you’ll want to know that they’re well attended to.
2. HOA Rules
The best HOA management companies also establish rules for all members to follow in order to maintain a peaceful community.
HOA regulations might include architectural controls, such as the color you’re allowed to paint your front door. They may also have noise control restrictions. For example, you may only be allowed to have guests in your home until 11 pm, or you may only be able to work on household projects until 9 pm.
There may be limits to home occupancy, such as the number of people who can reside in your home. If your community is for those ages fifty-five and older, you may only be allowed to have guests for a limited number of days.
You may have restrictions on parking, renting to guests, or pet ownership. Or there may be laws governing your trash and recycling requirements. Other HOAs may limit your use of lawn ad holiday decorations.
Before purchasing a home, you’ll want to check with your HOA’s rules and regulations. If you’re comfortable with them, you can look forward to going through with your purchase. If there’s something you don’t think you can live with, you may want to search for a different property.
3. Landscaping and Snow Removal
Many homeowners find that one of their favorite perks of their HOA is that landscaping gets included in their monthly fees. This means that lawn mowing, tree trimming, and leaf raking is handled by someone else.
Another perk is that snow removal gets managed by others as well. If you live in a colder climate, you can be confident that the streets will be plowed and the sidewalks will get cleared whenever there’s significant snowfall.
The job of your HOA is to contract with landscaping and snow removal companies and make sure they get paid on time. They also need to make sure that the job gets done in a satisfactory way and make adjustments as necessary.
Your HOA is also responsible for overseeing the budget and making sure that enough funds are available for necessary repairs and improvements. Occasionally, they may raise fees to meet growing demands.
Before purchasing a home with an HOA, you’ll want to make sure you have a look at your HOA’s financial condition. If you’re unclear as to what to look out for, your lawyer can help you out. HOAs in poor financial condition could levy unexpected bills on homeowners.
You’ll also want to look out for any ongoing disputes. Minor disputes may not be something to worry about, but bigger financial losses could come at a cost to homeowners.
Your HOA may also be involved in keeping the neighborhood safe for homeowners. They may regularly inspect and repair safety equipment. This could include security cameras, street lights, and gates.
Your HOA may also have added security measures for members. Some complexes, for example, may have a twenty-four-hour security guard who patrols the neighborhood. You may be able to call these folks to escort you through the neighborhood if you get home later in the evening.
Your HOA may partner with local law enforcement to help prevent crime. Or they may organize a neighborhood watch program. They may also dedicate themselves to educating residents on proper safety protocols.
Before purchasing a home in a neighborhood, you can ask about the safety services provided by the HOA. These may help you feel more secure in your new neighborhood.
Homeowners Association Management Companies
The fees homeowners pay to homeowners association management companies shouldn’t go to waste. If you’re considering purchasing a home with an HOA, find out about the services provided as well as the regulations you’ll need to follow. The right HOA will provide quality measures that you feel are worth the price.
Don’t stop getting smart about your purchases now. For more great advice, read our blog today.