When searching for a new home, one of the big questions to consider is whether or not a given property is part of a homeowners association. Simply put, a homeowners association is a regulatory body for a neighborhood that is responsible for providing overall maintenance and management. Most homeowners associations charge a monthly fee in order to have the money necessary to provide these maintenance services. Some people are wary of homeowners associations due to these fees and due to the perception that they are overly controlling, but few associations actually deserve this reputation, and the majority can aid in a number of ways. In this article, our team at Thornburg & Associates, Inc. will go over 3 key things to know about homeowners associations.
1. They Manage Common Neighborhood Areas- One of the benefits of a homeowners association is that this type of body takes care of the common areas of a neighborhood, such as swimming pools or other community facilities. Many of our clients here at Thornburg & Associates, Inc. tell us that someone in charge of these areas ensures that they are kept to an appropriate standard of cleanliness, and allows residents to enjoy their benefits without having to join a private gym, etc.
2. They Mediate Disputes Between Neighbors- At some point, you’ve probably had a neighbor who did something that annoyed you. In communities without a homeowners association, it falls to the individual to approach their neighbor and try to work it out on their own, which can go a number of ways. With a homeowners association, however, you have someone you can approach with these issues and who will arrange a neutral discussion where you can make your voice heard.
3. They Set Standards for the Neighborhood- One thing that can turn people off from homeowners associations is that they set certain standards for the properties within the neighborhood. While some find that their local association policies are too strict or unreasonable, others find that they help keep the neighborhood clean and make it a nicer place to live. Before buying a home, we at Thornburg & Associates, Inc. recommend checking the homeowners association guidelines and making sure that they are in line with your lifestyle.