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Homeowner Associations – What Are They?

All home buyers are told  that there are several transactions associated with purchasing property.  You have to become familiar with the Home Owners Association  and their rules, regulations, by-laws and fees. The Home Owners Association or HOA is specifically comprised of people who own properties inside a particular subdivision or neighborhood. They are the ones that keep the residents organized and manage the physical and external condition of member’s houses, yards and streets. They are the organization that sets rules and regulations to maintain harmony in the area too.

Westover Hills Homeowners Association, Oct 21,...

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I bet you’ve heard a good amount of positive feedback and negative reactions about HOAs from press and various media. However, you need to be optimistic regarding this group of people.The  HOA can help a lot in the community where you live to make the community as family friendly as possible. HOAs are mainly created to protect the welfare of the owners, so you must put your trust in them. Also remember in most situations the members are homeowners and neighbors but also volunteers in the HOA. They are always looking for energetic new members, so if you have concerns or issues being on the inside may have particular benefits to you specifically. There are many other benefits when you belong to an HOA and the members of your local homeowners association are knowledgeable about these benefits. They are the one who take responsibility to ensure that your membership in the association provides you with neighborhood properties that are well maintained, contributing to the growth of equity in your home and keeping the environment you live in – safe.

You can rely on the members to have a concrete knowledge of the things the HOA is capable of providing. You can even request a personal copy of the rules of the association. Remember that you have your own set of duties and responsibilities to follow when a member of the current HOA.

alt="Sherry Fields Real Estate"

Image via Wikipedia

alt="Sherry Fields Real Estate"

Image via Wikipedia

Evaluate the pros and cons, these tasks affect your lifestyle. Some tasks may limit what you can do on your property, for example on larger parcels you still may be prohibited from having horses or cattle, or conversely be allowed to have horses and cattle but no swine. While in neighborhoods where all the yards are common such as in condos you may find that all animals are excluded even family pets.

A majority of HOAs  collect dues to be utilized for the smooth operation of the organization. It is not difficult to distinguish whether such a fee is reasonable, depending on the type of services HOAs. Several meetings every month or every quarter may also require your attendance. Take note of these schedules to fully make use of your rights in the group.

Make sure that you fully understand the jurisdiction of the Homeowners Association and your rights and obligations before you purchase property in that neighborhood.  Once you own property there, you are obligated to follow the rules.

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About the author

Sherry Fields Sherry Fields has been working in real estate since 2002. Working with the development team for the Hilton Garden Inn gave her strategic information on the commercial real estate market in Missoula. Broadening her scope she moved into the residential market and earned the designation SFR in short sales and foreclosures. Currently affiliated with Prudential Montana Real Estate, she works with both buyers and sellers "building relationships so you can buy & sell with confidence". Sherry Fields has recently earned the CREN designation - Certified Real Estate Negotiator. While price is a large part of negotiation - it is also about timing everything from the closing date to inspections, appraisals, home insurance - and it is about negotiating items that can show up in home inspections to achieve a mutually acceptable outcome.

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