Homeowners’ Associations: What are they and What do they do?

There are several factors that influence the decision of buying or renting a home that should be carefully considered. Setting a budget, selecting a location, and choosing the size of your home usually takes precedence over smaller considerations like the home’s aesthetic and finishes. A component that is not often fully considered is the Homeowners’ Association, but ignoring the organization’s regulations in your decision-making process could have a negative impact.

At The Talons Group, we understand that purchasing a new home can be a long and stressful process which is why we want to make it as easy as possible. Our professional realtors are available to answer your questions and assist you in the home buying process. In an effort to make this process easier, we have provided an overview of a Homeowners’ Association, its purpose, and some advantages and disadvantages of joining one.

What is a Homeowners’ Association?

According to the Foundation for Community Association Research, more than 25% of the U.S. population lives in a community that is overseen by Homeowners Associations, condominium communities, or housing cooperatives. Because of the increasing popularity of residents living in communities with a Homeowners’ Association, it is important to understand the reason for the organization and how it can influence your living situation. These organizations are automatically joined by residents of planned neighborhoods, townhomes, apartments, or condominiums. If a Homeowners’ Association is not present in these types of living spaces, a third-party landlord takes its place.

The Homeowners’ Association is comprised of volunteer board members that live in the area and are elected by residents of the community. The board association charges monthly fees that are used to maintain the property value and establish a uniform look for the community. If there are additional fees that are collected by the association, they will be added to a reserve fund that is saved for major updates to the neighborhood. The board creates rules and regulations that help create a cohesive atmosphere within the community. These specifications can seem harsh to some, but they are in place to help maintain the beauty of the neighborhood.

What is its purpose?

A Homeowner’s Association is in place to regulate the neighborhood and preserve its appearance. An important part of the organization’s duties is managing the yearly community budget. The residents of the community trust the board members to delegate the monthly fees wisely for useful improvements. These updates are often done with the intent of increasing and sustaining the property value of the subdivision.

The property value is maintained through various restrictions that are determined by and enforced by the board. These rules are designed to ensure that the neighborhood appears visually as a cohesive unit. The board can create instructions for residents to follow that specify the colors that can be used on the exterior of your home, where fences can be added, and even where vehicles can be parked.

The Homeowners’ association describes its rules in a document known as covenants, conditions, and restrictions. If residents do not abide by the community rules, the Homeowners’ Association can reprimand the residents. As a result, the board can ban the residents from using the community amenities. Residents that miss payments will be issued late fees and penalties. If the fees continue to be ignored, the board can file a lawsuit or even place a foreclosure on the home.

What are the advantages?

The Homeowners’ Association provides multiple benefits for community members. The regulations that are put in place create continuity throughout the neighborhood and ensures that each resident meets the neighborhood’s expectations. This structure develops a sense of security and comfort for the neighborhood as a whole. The Homeowners’ Association is convenient for the residents because it pays for property maintenance, repairs, and improves the overall quality of life. Without the association, the residents would be in charge of finding their own workers, and the price of labor could be more expensive. Many people prefer a neighborhood that is supported by a Homeowners’ Association because it is governed by people that live in and care about the success of the community.

What are the disadvantages?

While the Homeowners’ Association offers several advantages for its residents, there are a few reasons that could deter prospective homebuyers from moving to a community that is managed by this association. The amount of dues that a member pays often depends on where they live, but these fees could become pretty costly. If you are looking for a home that offers more flexibility with personalization, strict regulations could be an obstacle. Because volunteers run the Homeowners’ Association, they are often not trained in real estate or finances. This could result in poor management and upkeep of the complex.

Before buying a new home, it is important to recognize a Homeowners’ Association’s purpose and how it could affect your living situation. The organization can be beneficial for many residents, but their rules and fees could prove to be a deterrent for prospective homebuyers as well. Overall, a homeowner’s association adds an intricate element to the home buying process that should be considered before you make a final decision.

At The Talons Group, we know that finding a new home can be overwhelming and exhausting. We aim to be your trusted real estate partner so that we can make the process as simple and enjoyable as possible. Check out our listings to see our available homes, or contact us today to start finding your new home!