Do Home Owners Associations go too far?
HOA’s are interesting. 87 % of home owners have a positive or neutral experience with their Home Owners Association (HOA). But do Home Owners Associations have too much power? Some homebuyers think the system is broken.
A recent article demonstrates the power of Home Owners Associations that have gone too far with restrictions. A few HOA are too restrictive over petty issues. Like having curtains instead of blinds. Or worse, the color of the shed was not acceptable to the HOA creating so much turmoil the homeowner committed suicide.
Main HOA Concerns for Home Buyers
The home buyers main concern with an HOA is the cost each month. The monthly HOA fee must be budgeted in with the house expenses. HOA fees will depending on the amount of amenities to be maintained. Current and future expenses on the community also effect the monthly HOA fee.
All HOA’s have restrictions. These are rules every homeowner that lives in the community has to abide by. These rules vary from community to community.
An example of these rules can be no street parking, no parked commercial vehicles, restrictions on pets (or size of pets) no satellites dishes, no RV’s, no basketball hoops, no foil on windows, grass maintained a certain height. Or, exterior home improvements have to be approved before work takes place. The most interesting one that I have come across is not shaking rugs outside. Failure to follow rules could result on fines and further actions.
Every community is different when it comes to enforcing rules. Some are more relaxed than others, its hard to really know how enforceable a community is until you live there and someone reports a violation. Sometimes buyers think they can just move in and skirt the issues because others are not following the rules. Problem with that is that once someone complains, the association will force everyone to comply.
While some home buyer feel HOA eliminates freedom, people prefer communities that are well maintained. Celebration is one of the more stricter communities, but the community shows very well, thats why its so appealing and people are eager to live there.
How Home Buyers Evaluate a HOA
Before shopping for a home, ask yourself what is unique about your lifestyle or living situation. Do you have alot of pets? Do you have a commercial vehicle? Can you rent your home if you move? Do you run a business from your home?
Next, home buyers should get a copy of the Home Owner Association Convenants and Restrictions. These are available online, can be requested with through an offer, or available in public records.
Home buyers can speak with the Home Owners Association President or Property Manager to ask questions. Home buyers can also request the Financial Statements if needed. HOA financial statements are not always easy to obtain or to interpret. If you have any questions about the Home Owners Association, we can help.
Need help buying a home in Central Florida? Buyers Broker of Florida understands home buying needs and can represent you throughout the real estate transaction. Call today 407-539-1053.