21 Apr What is a Homeowner’s Association (HOA) and What Services Do HOAs Provide?
A homeowners association, or HOA, is often formed by the real estate developer of a residential community for the purposes of attracting buyers who are looking for perks like pools & clubhouses and neighbors who will maintain their property. Typically the developer will transfer control of the association to the homeowners after selling a certain number of lots who will become the governing body and elect its board of directors. Anyone who becomes an HOA member must obey the rules, also known as covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs), by-laws, and articles of incorporation.
Sometimes membership in an HOA is voluntary but usually it is mandatory and members will pay fees to, and follow the rules of, the HOA. In return, they’ll be allowed to participate in the HOA’s governance and use its amenities.
HOAs are especially focused on controlling these areas for the purposes of maintaining and increasing property values:
•quality of life
•pace of growth
•land use and zoning
As annoying as those fees may seem, they of course come with a lot of perks. Here are some amenities HOAs can offer:
•FITNESS AMENITIES – walking paths, gym, personal trainers, yoga classes, pool, hot tub, sauna, basketball court, tennis court, bike racks
•SOCIAL AMENITIES – clubhouse, cooking classes, dance classes, parties, movie theater, music center, art studio, workshop
•TECH AMENITIES – wi-fi, computer lab, printing station, charging ports, arcade, library with movies and books
•CHILD FRIENDLY AMENITIES – playgrounds, child care, play rooms
•PET FRIENDLY AMENITIES – dog park, dog walking, pet-sitting, an abundance of waste bags and trash cans, pet grooming
•GREEN AMENITIES – green spaces with paths and flowers, community garden, composting bins, recycling bins, rain water collection, electric vehicle charging stations
•MAINTENANCE AMENITIES – lawn care, landscaping, snow removal, roofing, exterior paint, preventative maintenance, exterior repairs, common area repairs, some insurance coverage
Although not exactly an amenity, often HOA fees will go towards paying the community’s water, gas, sewer, trash, and recycling bills as a whole.
No matter what your future HOA offers, make sure to read all of the rules very carefully.
If you violate the rules, you’ll usually receive a warning and a period of time to correct the problem, but after that, they have the power to impose fines, take legal action, and put a lien on your property.