You've found the perfect home, and you are excited about the opportunities that it provides. You talk to your real estate agent and find yourself in a homeowners association. What does that mean, you wonder, to your ability to buy the home of your dreams? Homeowners associations are legally recognized entities that have some level of ruling over the associated area. In short, to buy a home here, you need to agree to the terms of that association.
The reasoning behind a homeowners association is to provide some level of control over the surrounding area. That is, you don't have to worry about purchasing a home and then having a neighbor next to you that doesn't take care of his or her property. These associations can take legal steps to force people into compliance within their stated requirements. There are a few key things you need to keep in mind as you consider this type of investment.
- You should be given all of the information you need to know about the rules and regulations of the HOA before you buy the home. This provides you with access to any limitations that may be in play. This may include things as varied as how you maintain your lawn and what types of things you do in your home.
- Learn what the fee is. Yes, most homeowners associations charge a fee. The fee pays for whatever legal services and other services the association provides. The amount of this fee will range significantly.
- You should talk to a few of the neighbors before buying into the area. Ask them about the HOA, it's benefits, and just how strict it can be. It is also a good idea to talk to the lead for the organization to ensure you know what you can expect there.
Talk to your real estate agent about the homeowners association. Learn as much as you can about the process and about the association itself. It can be a good thing to live in these areas since the limitations and rules, if you agree with them, can help ensure you are living near like-minded people. Nevertheless, it is up to you, the home buyer, to fully understand what this will mean to your daily life and to factor in the cost of these services. This can play a big role in your overall decision to buy in one area or not to do so.
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