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Homeowner's Associations- Friend or Foe?

content_HOA_Sign Understanding A NH Seacoast HOA Homeowners associations (also called HOAs) can help protect property values, provide great amenities that you couldnt afford on your own, get you involved with your community, and keep your neighbors from parking cars on their front lawns. Whether you love, hate, or dont know much about homeowners associations, if youre thinking about purchasing a home that is affiliated with one, its important to do your research. Before you sign on the dotted line, ask these important questions: 1. Does this home belong to a NH Seacoast HOA? This question isnt as simple as youd thinkHOAs arent just for condominiums. Dont assume that just because youre looking at a townhome, single-family home, or vacation property that youre in the clear. In fact, according to the Community Association Institute (CAI), four out of five houses built since the late 1990s have an HOA 2. Can I see some documentation? Ask to see the communitys Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions, commonly known as CC&Rs. These documents are the associations governing rules, and explain protocol and regulations that officers, homeowners, and tenants are expected to follow. In most cases, CC&Rs are legally enforceable. In addition to reviewing the CC&Rs, ask to see recent meeting minutes and up-to-date financial statements. These documents will let you know if there are any upcoming assessments in the works and help you determine the overall financial health of the organization. 3. How are the HOAs finances managed? How much can I expect to spend? A well-organized HOA should make very clear the financial responsibilities of its members. Are dues billed monthly, quarterly, or yearly? How much are they? Are there late fees? If a homeowner violates a regulation, are there monetary penalties? Are there limits to the dollar amount and frequency of one-time assessments? 4. What do my NH Seacoast HOA dues cover? Inclusions vary dramatically and it is safe to assume that the lower your dues, the fewer services, amenities, and utilities are included. In a traditional condominium association, dues may likely include water, cable, ground maintenance, trash, sewer, recreational amenities, parking, security, and more. HOAs in neighborhoods with single-family homes may cover sidewalks, landscaping, and common areas. Ask to see a comprehensive list of what is included. 5. How do you like the HOA? Hit the pavement and ask neighbors about the association. How is the leadership elected? Have you had any negative interactions? How common are expensive assessments? 6. Can I follow all of the rules? Before you commit to living in a NH Seacoast HOA -affiliated building or neighborhood, take an honest look at the rules and make sure that you are comfortable following every single one. Make sure that your lifestyle fits with the HOAs parameters. For example, if youre buying vacation property, make sure that the HOA doesnt have rules limiting or forbidding owners from renting their property. Homeowners associations can be a good influence on your condo or neighborhood, but only if everyone follows the rules. Understanding the rules and responsibilities before committing to a purchase is crucial to happiness in your new HOA-affiliated home.

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