Moving? What You Should Know About Homeowner's Associations
When looking for a new home, most often we are looking for something specific (price range, number of bedrooms, location, etc).
But there is something else very important to keep in mind when looking for your next place to live:
IS there an HOA (Homeowner's Association), and is there a Florida Licensed Community Association Manager in place?
What is An HOA?
When you purchase certain condominiums, townhouses or single-family homes in a planned development, you are required to join that community’s homeowner’s association (HOA) and pay monthly or annual fees for the upkeep of common areas, shared structures and shared exteriors. An HOA will decide things like guidelines, rules, events, purchasing, and what dues are paid by residents.
Before you make the commitment to purchase and move into one of these communities, here are some things to look for:
What are this specific community's basic rules?
-- Many will not allow pets over a certain size, particular breeds, or don't allow pets at all.
-- Some will have a limit on not just how many vehicles you park, but the SIZE of those vehicles (I.E. no rvs, large trucks, etc)
-- What dues if any will be required by you (the homeowner)?
What ARE the fees you'll need to pay?
-- The more upscale your home is, the higher your fees are likely to be.
-- Depending on what type of community you live in, you could be paying monthly fees, yearly, biannually, etc.
--Fees generally cover things like: Maintenance, landscaping, upkeep of common areas, events for the community, and so on.
Often an HOA will have specific covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CCRs):
What will your potential community CCRs be?
These can be very specific (how tall can your grass be allowed to grow? What color are you allowed to paint your house/front door?
and various other rulings.
How do you find all this out? Normally there will be a link with information regarding the HOA on the real estate listing of the location you are interested in. In addition, it might be a good idea to call or go by and speak directly to the CAM of your potential community!
In short, make sure you educate yourself PRIOR to signing on the dotted line, so that you make the best choice for you and your family!