The following six tips can help new buyers take advantage of HOA living:
- Get Educated – Buying in a HOA means homeowners become part of an association. The association has obligations, restrictions, advantages and community resources. To avoid any surprises, first-time buyers need to know what they’re getting into before they make an offer on a new home.
- Analyze the Governing Documents – First-time buyers need to thoroughly review the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs); By-Laws and Regulations; Meeting Minutes for Prior Year; HOA Financial Statement and more. Buyers should seek legal counsel if they don’t understand any content.
- Understand Financial Obligations – Buying a home in a HOA requires dues and assessments to cover common expenses. First-time buyers need to know what’s expected of them each month and on a special assessment basis.
- Assess the Management Company – First-time buyers should determine if the HOA is managed by a professional management company. Then, they should evaluate the experience, services and reputation of that company.
- Evaluate the Amenities – Although the marketing materials might identify certain facilities, first-time buyers need to make an in-person visit. They should also review all regulations and get feedback from current residents.
- Identify Available Community Resources – A major benefit of a HOA is the ability to connect with neighbors. Strong homeowner resources will have organizations, events, activities and more available.