If you own a single family home, it’s likely that you’re also part of a homeowner’s association. In fact, over 20% of the U.S. population lives in private communities governed by an HOA. While many people tend to association homeowner’s associations with just fees and rules, there are actually a lot of great things about living within an HOA! HOA rules are designed to protect property values and keep the community looking clean and maintained.
Below are some tips on living within an HOA and how you can make the most of it.
- Know the rules. Be educated on your obligations regarding parking, fees, rentals, noise regulations, and architectural guidelines. If you know the rules, you will be able to properly follow them, thereby avoiding fees or other penalties that may be incurred should you unknowingly break them.
- Follow Procedure. HOAs usually have procedures set up for everything from painting, to installing satellite dishes, or purchasing a new pet. Following the established procedures will save both you and the board a lot of time, effort, and potentially money.
- Volunteer. The best way to make the most of your time living in an HOA community is to get involved. Be educated about the issues that the community is facing, volunteer for projects, or serve on committees. If you don’t like the rules, you still have to follow them. However, by being involved, you can work to change the rules that you disagree with. Don’t stand idly by, being angry about rules or other issues that you have with the HOA; being involved is the best way to incite the changes that you want to see.
- Be friends with your neighbors. Even if you aren’t best friends, at least be kind and have open communication. Communication is extremely important. It’s much better to work out minor issues between yourselves rather than getting the HOA board involved. Talking directly to your neighbor will keep the peace and make living next to each other a lot more congenial.
- Explore the amenities. Many HOA communities include amenities such as pools, community maintenance, clubhouses, and community activities. If you are paying monthly dues to the HOA, you might as well get your money’s worth!
While HOA’s can sometimes get a bad rap, they actually come with many benefits. When purchasing a property that is governed by an HOA, go into it with your eyes open – know what is going to be expected of you, and also make sure that you know what you are entitled to as a community member. Being educated and prepared will ensure that you are getting the most out of your HOA!
At Spectrum Association Management, we provide refreshingly different HOA property management services for communities with over 200 homes. Contact us today for a free quote and to learn more about the Spectrum difference!