If you’re preparing to buy your first home on your own, the concept of a homeowners association might be a confusing one. You might wonder why you have to pay extra fees to the association and how living in a community with an HOA in place benefits you. Read on to learn more about what an HOA is and what advantages they provide you as a resident.meeh

What is a Homeowners Association?

A homeowners association exists to keep the community where you live orderly and manage any amenities your community has. These might include items like:

  • Pool
  • Community clubhouse
  • Gated entrance
  • Gym

The homeowners association also manages things like the landscaping in common areas of the neighborhood and any special events or holiday celebrations. The extent to which the homeowners association governs the neighborhood can vary greatly depending on the community. In some areas, the HOA sets rules about everything from what colors the homes can be painted to what kind of mailbox homeowners have to install. In others, they simply prevent people from doing things that can be considered an eyesore, such as working on old cars on the front lawn.

While some people find these rules restrictive and unnecessary, others enjoy living in a neighborhood where the homes match and the lawns are free of debris. You can ask for a copy of the HOA’s current rules before you buy a home in the neighborhood, which allows you to see if you can envision living by the rules or if they are too restrictive for you. You may also want to inquire if there are any existing issues with your home. For example, if the previous homeowner has installed the wrong type of front door, you can end up having to pay for a new one shortly after you move in.

Why Do You Have to Pay Homeowners Association Fees?

The fees you pay to the association help to upkeep the community and the amenities. These funds are spent on things like a landscaping service to keep the neighborhood looking good, and saved to replace items that need to be fixed, such as the community pool needing a new pump or the clubhouse roof caving in.

What Can You Do If You Have Issues With The Homeowners Association?

If you find yourself in conflict with the HOA, there are typically a number of ways to resolve things. The first is to attend the regular meetings, which should be open to all residents. Many neighborhoods will post signs and send out flyers to ensure everyone is aware of the meeting time and place. The meeting is usually the appropriate place to raise any concerns or problems you may have. Issues that affect multiple residents can be put to a vote. However, if the rules of the neighborhood are clearly laid out, you may not have a case.

If you’re looking to buy your first home in Central Florida, The Core Group can help. Our experts can advise you on the right community to purchase in to meet your needs. Click here to get started!