The Home Owner's Association (HOA) can be seen as a blessing and a curse.
Their job is to keep certain aspects of a development looking and working as intended by the community as a whole.
If you don't like rules, you won't like your local HOA. Find a community without HOA restrictions.
The good thing about a Home Owner's Association is that they do have restrictions set forth to help you and your neighbor's keep the place looking good.
This will be to your benefit when it comes time to sell your home down the road.
Some of your most typical restrictions will be in the way of fencing, trash, parking, and outdoor structures.
Other more high dollar issues may come in the way of presenting your home additions to the architectural review board for approval.
The HOA is typically good at arranging social events and community get-togethers. The more amenities your neighborhood has, the more offerings you can expect from your HOA.
Social events could include pool parties, ice cream socials, holiday gatherings as well as street lighting ceremonies, and community garage sales.
As for fees, these will vary according to what your community has to offer and what the Home Owner Association is responsible for.
This might include the community pool and tennis maintenance, walking trails, lighted streets as well as the neighborhood entryway areas being kept up to snuff.
The Home Owner Association typically has hired an outside management company to handle the financial aspects of the association. They also are the people you would contact to review the latest restrictive covenants for the community.
When a meeting of the Home Owner Association takes place, you will see many of your neighbors working as the elected members that volunteer to represent your neighborhood.
The home owner association fees are associated with your home in most neighborhoods-some are with optional membership and therefore not required.
If you buy in a neighborhood with required HOA fees, make sure you pay them. The HOA in these neighborhoods will have the right to place a lien on your home if you do not pay.