Living in an area with a HOA? If so, you may feel like you don’t have the freedom you want on your property at all times. Everyone wants to feel free in their own home and sometimes HOAs are known for threatening that. What else do you know, or don’t know, about HOAs?
What is a HOA?
HOA stands for Homeowner Association. This is a private group, usually formed by a real estate developer, to help market, manage and sell homes in a neighborhood or condominium. If you live in an area with a HOA, you must agree to abide by the covenants, conditions and restrictions put in place and enforced by the HOA.
When you live in a condo, you most likely have a HOA and you usually are paying more for it too. That is because these funds are used to take care of everything outside of your unit. HOAs at condominiums usually have strict limitations on many items, like the number of pets you are allowed to own, where you can park and what you can have on your patio or balcony.
HOAs are a little different in residential subdivisions and neighborhoods. The HOA is responsible for enforcing homeowners to up keep the outside of their home. If homeowners fail to meet these requirements, they will be forced to pay a fine for things like having excessive weeds on their lawn, keeping holiday decorations up well after the holidays are over or failing to repair anything broken outside.
Usually, HOAs charge either a monthly or quarterly fee that ranges from $50 to $1,000, depending on the location, size and other factors. These funds are used to maintain the common areas and enforce any regulations.
At times, these fees can raise, but only if the board decides to. You could also face special dues for emergency costs. This could be used to fix things like pipes or roofs at condominiums or something in a common area of a neighborhood.
When you don’t follow a rule or regulation that a HOA has in place, you will most likely need to pay a fine. Your HOA should supply you with a list of fines. If you fail to pay dues on time, you could even face late fees. Check with your HOA about these fees.
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