Is A Homeowner Association Good For Your Lifestyle?
The number of people or residents living in homeowner associations (HOA) has increased 35 times from 2.1 million in 1970 to over 74 million in 2020. In addition, more than 82% of newly built houses became a part of HOA communities last year. Although HOAs are common in the U.S., they differ across types of dwellings.
Why Living Under A Homeowner Association Might Work For You
Living under a homeowner association might not be the best solution for everyone, but for some, it is. Of course, HOA rules can seem intrusive, but they keep the community in order and in excellent shape. On the other hand, many prefer living in a townhouse or condo community for its easy and practically maintenance-free lifestyle.
Hence, if you’re living in a house, you will not have the same conditions and obligations as a resident in a townhouse or condominium. Here are the differences in HOAs in single-family residences, townhomes, or condos. Knowing their distinct features will enable you to decide which HOA suits your lifestyle and budget.
Below, you’ll find some key pointers about why a homeowners association might solve your needs for you and your family.
Typically, an HOA aims at managing shared property or a community. However, it also provides services and maintains the value of the local real estate. Plus, a homeowner association helps foster a community spirit through everyday activities.
The association governs by federal and state laws applicable to incorporated or unincorporated associations. It also has governing documents such as its bylaws, rules and regulations, and CC&RS. Bylaws dictate how the association runs, including day-to-day administration and management. It does this with rules and regulations and minimal restrictions that apply to the community, like age caps to exclude the participation of minors.
But what are CC&RS? The acronym stands for covenants, conditions, and restrictions which is a legally binding document that details the duties and obligations of the HOA to members and vice-versa. It tells you what you can and cannot do with your residence regarding property maintenance, home décor, pets, parking, and garbage. It will also cover obligations for HOA fees and insurance.
For the most part, the main difference between an HOA in a single detached dwelling and apartments or townhouses typically concerns maintenance between the homeowner and the association. For example, if you choose to live in or buy a condo, everything is covered by the HOA, including insurance and building maintenance.
Thus, residents in attached structures have fewer maintenance responsibilities than single-family houses. On the other hand, the associations in single-family residences will cover common areas such as community parks, swimming pools, and sidewalks. Every homeowner is responsible for their home and yard maintenance.
To illustrate, the HOA of a townhouse or condo will be responsible for roof and siding repairs. However, a homeowner in a single unit will fix their roof and siding. Therefore, monthly fees are generally higher in condo and townhouse communities. It is essential to mention that HOA fees vary depending on what each association covers and which amenities are available.
However, if you have a busy lifestyle or are often traveling, a townhouse or condo might be a better option because you require less maintenance. But it’s good to remember that a homeowner association has some restrictions. For some, following these guidelines can quickly become a source of frustration. For example, you may want to add extra lighting to the exterior of your home and the HOA rules strictly prohibits this.
Read The Homeowner Association Guidelines And Rules Carefully
In the end, the question is if you prefer an abode with little maintenance on your part or want to handle the upkeep of your property yourself. Attached-home communities like condos and townhouses may be the right solution for you. And if you don’t want to deal with day-to-day maintenance and are often on the move, a detached unit is an alternative if you prefer to do things yourself.
Before considering moving to an HOA, include the extra fees in your budget and prepare for possible yearly increases. Moreover, these types of communities offer a wide range of amenities to consider. For instance, many offer gyms, swimming pools, and areas for adult and children’s activities.
Furthermore, always go through the homeowner association guidelines carefully before signing anything. As all HOAs have board members, you can also consider requesting to join it. This way, you can have more control and say how and when the rules change.
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