Homeowners Association: Benefits and Difficulties
Looking to buy a home? You will need to understand how a homeowners association plays a role in your mortgage and living experience as a homeowner. Some home buyers see the big benefits to living in a neighborhood with a homeowners association. While, other prospective home buyer’s would rather avoid living in a HOA neighborhood all together.
The goal of this article is to provide you with information about the benefits and potential difficulties with homeowners association neighborhoods.
The Benefits of a Homeowners Association
A homeowners association can protect the home values in a neighborhood by setting guidelines, social programing to build community engagement, and offering amenities to residents. Let’s talk about each of these benefits individually.
Most HOA guidelines are set for these major reasons. Protecting the people and the property value of the homes in the neighborhood. In other words, protecting you and your investment. Focused on creating a community that attracts new home buyers as a safe, active, and visually appealing is beneficial to all home owners.
A few examples of things commonly found in homeowners association regulations include; up keeping condition of the exterior of your home, lawn, and fencing. Safety regulations could limit the number of rental properties in the neighborhood, or prevent the ownership of aggressive or invasive types of pets. HOA regulations on noise, parking, and behavior in community areas help to keep the neighborhood peaceful without getting state law enforcement involved.
The homeowners association also supports the social aspects of the community. Neighborhood cook outs, holiday events, and community service events are often organized by HOA volunteers.
The homeowners association may also provide the opportunity for groups with common interests in the neighborhood to meet. Fitness groups, neighborhood moms, boy or girl scouts, arts and crafts groups, card and board game players, or teen leadership groups to name a few. Groups can coordinate with the home owner’s association to build community engagement.
Some HOA neighborhoods come with great amenities for their residents! A community center, park, or club house could provide a meeting place reserved for the neighborhood. Membership to the pool, fitness center, dog park, tennis or basketball courts, and other amenities can be benefits of your HOA neighborhoods.
Your homeowners association could also provide some great resources for information and safety to you as a homeowner. Security officers and surveillance technology in entrance and exit areas play a big role in keeping communities safe.
Communication about traffic safety, neighborhood improvements, and other resources is often a function of the HOA. The homeowners association may also have information about local businesses or service providers available to residents.
Potential Difficulties with the Homeowners Association
While some people view HOA guidelines as a benefit to the community as a whole, others would rather not follow the rules set by a homeowners association. Difficulties arise when the homeowners association determines that a property owner is in violation of their guidelines.
It is important to read and understand the guidelines of your homeowners association. Home owners may receive a letter of notice and be given a timeline to address any HOA policy violations. Repeated or severe violations could result in penalty fees, the involvement of law enforcement, or even eviction from the neighborhood in extreme or dangerous situations.
The good news is that a homeowners association is run by members of the neighborhood. As a home owner in the neighborhood you have the opportunity to attend meetings and voice your concerns. You may even run for open positions in the HOA board, or volunteer to serve in other roles to make the neighborhood better.
Homeowners Association Dues and Your Mortgage
The homeowners association dues for the home you are looking to purchase are calculated in the determining the affordability of the home. Because HOA dues are a required cost of owning a particular home, all mortgage companies include this amount as a monthly or annual cost of owning the home.
If the seller of the home, neglected to pay the HOA dues for any amount of time before you purchase the home a lien for the back payments must be paid before the home can be sold.
Make sure that the seller has agreed to pay the entire lien in the purchase contract, before closing.
We always encourage you to ask questions about any concerns you have during the mortgage process. Your Texas Lending mortgage consultant will be happy to help you navigate any potential issues with a homeowners association during the mortgage process.
At TexasLending.com we want our customers to be well informed about their home buying options. Whether you choose to buy a home in a neighborhood with or without a homeowners association, we are here to help.