If you’re planning to buy a home, you may have a Homeowners Association (HOA) to consider. Many neighborhoods, including Starlight Homes, have these associations in place to protect and improve the property value of those living there. But where do your monthly or annual monetary dues go, and how does this help you as a homeowner?
From pools to playgrounds, community maintenance and peace of mind for everyone in the neighborhood — let’s cover the details.
What Are the Benefits of an HOA?
While the HOA will often require monthly or annual dues, this collective money is used for the greater good of everyone in the neighborhood. Fees will typically be used to maintain shared spaces, such as creating manicured green spaces, clearing sidewalks of ice and snow, providing upkeep for a pool or playground and hosting community gatherings for neighbors to enjoy.
The most significant benefit of an HOA is having a collective power for investing in the community, providing amenities and maintaining or increasing the curb appeal of your neighborhood.
Who Governs the Homeowners Association?
An HOA is a non-profit organization made up of volunteers and a board of directors that creates and implements the rules for a subdivision of homes. Or in simpler terms, a group of friendly residents who keep the neighborhood looking good and take care of issues that might come up. When you purchase a home with an HOA, you automatically become a member and pay a due that varies depending on where you live.
The HOA board of directors, elected by the members, oversees the day-to-day operations, including maintaining shared facilities, enforcing the rules, solving neighborhood disputes, collecting fees and balancing the budget. If you’re looking at a new home with an HOA, it’s a good idea to notice how well the common areas are maintained in addition to touring the home you’re interested in.
What Are the HOA Rules?
HOA rules cover a wide range of homeownership rights, and you agree to follow the rules with your fellow neighbors. The rules are commonly related to making sure everyone is keeping their lawn cut and taking in their trash cans at night.
The rules aren’t meant to be super restrictive but are there to protect you and keep everyone in the neighborhood on the same page. This means that your new neighbor Jim likely won’t be able to keep his Christmas inflatables up in his front yard all year long, and you won’t have to stare at a lime green door and shutters from an extra eccentric neighbor across the street.
Often there are additional constraints regarding fencing type with height limits. If you’re planning to add additional outdoor structures such as decks, pools or holiday decor, be sure to check your rules before breaking ground.
You’ll receive an HOA welcome package either at closing or in the mail with all the information about your neighrobhood’s HOA.
Ready to become a homeowner or move somewhere new? Get in touch with a Starlight representative today and schedule an appointment with one of our Home Guides to get started.