DEALING WITH AN HOA
Most people don't think about how they will deal with an HOA, prior to home buying. Homeowners Associations were created to establish and maintain a high-quality service for all residents within their community. In certain situations, however, they can cause some serious headaches for investors and/or new home buyers.
1. Read and understand the rules and regulations within each community. If you do not understand something or need a better breakdown of the rules, directly contact the HOA. Some people think " Well, my neighbor has lived here for 5 years and said it's OK,"...No, not really. They will find you and they will penalize you.
2. Relax ... you're paying for this. Don't get caught up on worrying about breaking HOA rules. The Homeowners Association collects fees from all residents to ensure the community is running smoothly. If you're not happy with the appearance of your town-home or certain things going on in the community .. speak up.
3. Crack a cold one with your neighbors, become friends and use this to your advantage. Maybe the HOA rules state your dog can not exceed the weight of 30 lbs..maybe your dog loves that leftover pizza you drop on the floor one to many times and gained about 20 lbs. Now your dog is 50 lbs. Is your friendly neighbor going to report you? Probably not. Is that neighbor that lives 3 doors down, you know .. the one who doesn't like you because your'e not so friendly with them. Are they going to report you because they have nothing else to do? ... Probably.
4. Remain on good terms with your HOA by paying those fees on time. If a situation does arise, you'll have a better standing with the HOA if your fees are always paid in a timely matter.
5. TAKE LEGAL ACTION. If things are getting out of control with your HOA, take a stand. Some HOA's like to wear their title as a crown and, unfortunately, like to make residents feel like they are "owned" by the association. When it comes to the law and the Homeowners Association is not protecting the real estate property or the owner, residents are advised to speak with a competent real estate attorney to get their case resolved.
Thank you for reading. Hope these tips help benefit any investment buyer or home buyer when dealing with an HOA.