H.O.A’s

First, let’s take a look at what HOAs are all about. HOA fees often range from $200 to $400 per month. The more upscale the building and the more amenities it has, the higher the homeowners’ association fees are likely to be. In addition to monthly fees, if a major expense such as a new roof or a new elevator comes up and there aren’t enough funds in the HOA’s reserves to pay for it, the association may charge an extra assessment that can run into thousands of dollars.

In addition to maintaining common areas, HOAs also set out certain rules that all residents must follow called covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs). In a common building, rules may include what color front door you may have, whether you are allowed to line dry your laundry outside, whether you can have a satellite dish, the size and type of pets permitted, and so on. In many ways, these rules are similar to the kinds of rules apartment dwellers must follow.

Homeowners associations can also have significant legal power over the property owners in their jurisdiction. The governing documents or covenants set certain conditions on the property and owners. The conditions may include structural restrictions such as the type of fences or landscape allowed or minor selections such as the color of paint on a house.

HOA members generally aim to maintain a standard of appearance for the property, and the HOA provides the regulations and guidelines for the community. The HOA management services may provide amenities such as landscape, pools and tennis courts that are available for all the HOA members. The community standards should support stable property values.

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