When it comes to moving into a homeowners association there are a few unexpected things that new homeowners may not fully be informed about. Home owners associations are typically referred to as HOA’s. They are run by an elected group of volunteers that oversee the fundamental necessities of the association as a whole.
What Exactly Do The Elected Officials Do In An HOA?
The home owners association board will consist of a president, vice president, treasurer and secretary. An effective HOA board will host monthly or bi-monthly meetings to go over things occurring within the HOA. These officials have the homeowners best interest in mind and vote to make decisions that will benefit the HOA as a whole.
What Services Will A HOA Be Responsible For?
Depending upon the HOA the services may change. A condominium may utilize a waste management company but a homeowners association composed of single family homes may be serviced by local waste management public services.
Typical services include:
- Upkeep of the grounds and common area
- Hiring adequate lawn care services
- Upkeep of entrance signs, shared parking and shared structures
The elected officials will vote on service providers that will maintain the grass cutting, weeding, floral planting, water feature maintenance, snow removal needs and park upkeep. Additionally, homeowners associations that are condominiums or townhouses will also typically employ a handyman and keep certain vendors on file to use for roofing, plumbing, electrical and other needs.
What Are Homeowner Association Services?
Homeowner association services are often related to property management companies. For larger HOA’s it is easier to hire a property management company that will take care of all upkeep and financials. Assessments will be mailed in to the property management company and records will be kept. The accounting department will keep track of assessments and special assessments as well as any payments owed to vendors that have performed work.
Smaller homeowners associations will utilize their staff of elected officials to perform these routine tasks. The secretary and treasurer will keep track of all financials, assessment payments and minutes from board meetings. They are also in charge of sending out notices for future meetings and holding special meetings for any repairs that may not be covered through the monthly or yearly assessment totals. In this case, a special assessment may be charged to the homeowners residing within the HOA.
Why Live In An HOA?
Living in an HOA is not for everyone. Those who prefer to live their life as they want to and not worry about neighbors or rules and regulations would not do well residing within an HOA. Homeowners associations typically have rules set in place to keep the association looking a certain way. In many cases there must be board approval for fences to be installed, windows and doors to be replaced and even for bushes or trees to be planted. The rules and regulations are provided to the potential homeowner before they move into the association. This allows them time to read over everything and know fully what they are involving themselves with. Aesthetically, living within a HOA has many positive points. If a neighbor does not cut their grass or leaves their property looking disparaged, the HOA board will step in and fines may be implemented until the homeowner brings their property up to expected standards. This is positive for property value and resale value. HOA’s also bring a sense of community and often have events to bring neighbors together. Residing within a homeowners association can be a very pleasant experience and many people prefer following the rules and paying the assessment fees to ensure they have a certain quality of life.