When searching for a home, you may end up selecting a property with a Homeowners Association (HOA). Before you buy, know how an HOA works and what they mean for you. Julia Dagistanli, Sales Associate with ERA Justin Realty, provides an overview of what HOAs are and whether or not they are the type of property for you.
What is an HOA?
A Homeowners Association is a nonprofit organization, made up of a leadership team or board of directors that makes and enforces rules for multiple-unit buildings like condos, townhouses or planned communities of single-family homes.
If you buy a property with an HOA, you’ll be required to join its Homeowners Association. As a member, you agree to abide by the HOA’s rules and regulations and pay dues, known as HOA fees.
But all homeowners associations aren’t the same in services or cost. Julia says, “Fees can differ even within a development, due to variations in square footage, location and orientation, which can affect how much upkeep and maintenance the property requires.”
A condominium is like an apartment you own. You own the interior of your property, but the HOA owns the exterior and all common areas.
Condo HOAs tend to have the most restrictive rules—covering everything from where you park to what color your window treatments can be, to whether or not (and what type) of holiday decorations you can display in your front windows or entryways.
Townhouse HOAs usually provide the same types of features and amenities that condo HOAs do, but they are typically not as restrictive. Because you also own the exterior of your townhouse, you have a little more control over what you can do with it.
Single-family residence HOAs
Single-family residence HOAs generally cover common areas such as neighborhood parks, green spaces, sidewalks and swimming pools. Homeowners are responsible for their own home and yard maintenance.
It’s important to know the type of HOA you are entering before committing. “Carefully read over the rules and understand the restrictions,” continues Julia. “You need to consider future implications such as outdoor decorations or whether or not you can own a pet.”
When you’re looking at a potential property to buy, it’s important to have an experienced professional who can help you understand the neighborhood’s HOA structure and fees. To help you find your next home, contact Julia or any one of our ERA Justin Realty Sales Associates at 201.939.7500.