Living in Harmony with Your Homeowners Association

When you’re looking to buy a new condo in the city, it’s easy to be sold on the nearby restaurants, the exciting nightlife and the skyline view. These perks are all great reasons to buy a condo, but many young families and couples are poorly equipped to dealing with their homeowners association (HOA) and the different rules they enforce.

Every community association has its own set of guidelines for handling facility maintenance, expenses, rule enforcement and more. The rules typically cover things like what kind of pets are allowed, wall color, and other interior and exterior alterations. The people who enforce these rules are usually volunteer board members with little to no property management experience, which can sometimes lead to internal conflict and disagreement among residents.

Here are a few simple ways you can prepare before becoming a member of a new community association so you can enjoy the perks of your new condo without experiencing unexpected HOA headaches.

Familiarize Yourself

Not only should you be familiar with the condo or property itself, but make sure you understand all HOA rules before making your move. Consider which types of rules you can easily live with and which ones are complete deal breakers. Researching the different violations and knowing the consequences that can result if failing to meet specific HOA requirements are essential during the prospecting phase. Once you’re familiar with the rules, you should have no problem following them.

Read Recent Meeting Minutes

If you’re able to get your hands on a copy, try to read the meeting minutes from one of the association board’s recent discussions. This can offer some great insights into how the HOA functions, what their policies are and how they resolve conflict. Plus, meeting minutes allow you to see what future projects are being discussed. If the board plans on putting on a new roof or repairing the elevator, you’ll want to know if a special assessment will be levied to all HOA members.

Know the Association Budget

If your home or condo association doesn’t have a proper budget set up for down the road expenses, future repairs and other major finances, it could end up costing you a fortune in special assessment fees. Talk to neighbors or people on the board to see if there’s enough money in place for reserve and learn what their financial plans for the long-term.

Of course, there are a number of different pros and cons for living under a homeowners association. By knowing what to expect and being aware of some of the inevitable frustrations in advance, you’ll have a much better time adjusting and making the best out of your HOA living experience.
For more information, contact us today and we will do our best to answer any questions you may have about buying a condo, HOA regulations, condo associations and more.

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