When searching for a home, you may end up selecting a property in a community with a Homeowners Association (HOA). Before you buy, it’s important to know how an HOA works and what they mean for you and your potential new home.
An HOA is governed by a board nominated by those living in the neighborhood. It is designed to make sure the residents have a support structure to maintain the value of the community while abiding by a set of guidelines called Common Restrictive Covenants (CC&R),
Simply put, CC&Rs are just the rules you’ll have to follow if you live in that community. Unlike zoning regulations, which are government-imposed requirements on how land can be used, restrictive covenants are established by HOAs to maintain the attractiveness and value of the property. While it’s nice to have a general guideline for expectations for the community and its visual impact, depending on the HOA, the restrictions can be heavy. For example, CC&Rs can include colors you’re allowed to paint your home, rules about where you and guests can park cars, as well as smaller rules about what flags are allowed to be flown, fencing color and height, decks and patios, in addition to other restrictions. Be sure to carefully look over any and all restrictions before deciding if the home in question is worth the CC&Rs attached to it.
It’s important for homeowners to understand that each HOA is a little different, and they usually have monthly or quarterly fees required for homeowners. These fees can vary based on property size, number of residents, amenities, and more. There may be additional fees charged to homeowners if the reserve fund for the HOA cannot cover a major or unexpected cost, like severe storm damage.
The fees, however, also help maintain common areas such as swimming pools, tennis courts, elevators (for high-rise buildings), and regular wear and tear. Although they are an added cost to the homeowner, an HOA can be a major benefit when it comes to maintaining the value of your neighborhood and your property. The convenience of having these kind of amenities included as a part of your HOA fees is great, especially if you have a large family that frequently uses the community amenities.
The same article continues to say,
“After your offer to buy a home is accepted, you are legally entitled to receive and review the community’s CC&Rs over a certain number of days (typically between three and 10)…If you spot anything in the restrictive covenants you absolutely can’t live with, you can bring it up with the HOA board or just back out of your contract completely (and keep your deposit).”
Most lenders will factor your HOA fees into your loan package, ensuring the amount of the loan is appropriate for what you can truly afford.
Keep in mind that if you fall behind on your HOA fees, an HOA can actually foreclose your home. While this is considered a last alternative option, it’s important to keep in mind if you’re thinking about buying a house that subsequently has you joining an HOA community.
There are some great benefits to having an HOA oversee your neighborhood, and it’s important to understand what fees, structures, and regulations will come into play if there is an HOA where you’d like to live.
Bottom line is, when you’re looking at a potential property to buy in the Coastal Bend, let’s get together so you have a professional who can help you understand the neighborhood’s HOA structure and fees. This way, you’ll feel confident and fully informed when purchasing your dream home!
Thank you for taking the time to visit our blog, and we’re glad to have helped you learn more about the pros and cons of HOAs. We specialize in Corpus Christi real estate, and we also inform readers about what is up-and-coming in the Corpus Christi community