Buying a home could mean dealing with a homeowners’ association. This begs the question, how can you tell if the HOA is doing a good job? Watch to find out!
HOA’s manage, maintain, and regulate everything that is outside of the home — Such as the structure of the building, the common areas, the landscaping, and the recreation areas, if they have them. But unlike the membership of other community organizations, you can’t resign if you’re unhappy with the way the organization is run.
If the community you are searching in passes these 4 checks, you are probably in good hands!
#1 – Community looks nice
If the community looks good, it usually means that something positive has impacted the community. Of course, the opposite is also true. If you’re thinking about buying into a community, take an objective look at its appearance. Is the structure of the building in good repair? Are the trees pruned, the beds weeded and the landscaping well maintained? Is the pool clean? Are any of the homes in the community eyesores? Your answers to these questions reflect on whether the HOA is performing its duties properly and requiring homeowners to do the same. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding.
#2 – Strong Communication
This is your community and you have every right to know what’s going on in it. Do your research. Figure out how the HOA board communicates with homeowners. The options are numerous and include newsletters, websites, annual reports and emails. Check for flyers advertising community meetings. If homeowners are invited to attend committee meetings, it’s a good sign that their input is heard and valued.
#3 – Strong Money Management
The best HOA’s put checks and balances in place to safeguard against the risk of financial mismanagement. They employ a second set of eyes – someone not on the board – to collect the dues, pay the bills, and review checks and invoices to make sure the HOAs financial affairs are in good order. Often the second pair of eyes is a professional property manager, a lawyer, or an accountant on staff. We also want to be sure that they have a clear budget for addressing repairs, whether it is unforeseen circumstances or scheduled maintenance.
#4 – Clear HOA Rules
HOA’s tend to have a set of rules called Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions. CC&R’s supercede city, county, and state laws and come with hefty fines if they are violated. So it’s really important to know if you’re moving into a community with a strict HOA. CC&R’s are meant to be applied objectively and fairly throughout the community – but sometimes they’re only enforced if a neighbor complains. The best way to tell if CC&R’s are applied consistently (or not) is to take a tour around the community. If everyone’s landscaping is immaculate, the HOA is probably very strict. But if some homes look run-down, and others don’t, it’s a good sign that the HOA is pretty lax on enforcing their rules.
Now that you know what to look for, let us help guide you into the perfect community! Even if that means avoiding HOAs all together! Contact us below!
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