Many communities have a Homeowners Association so it’s important to know what that is and what are their basic rules. A Homeowners Association (HOA) is an organization in a subdivision or community that establishes and enforces rules for the community. If you buy a house that is part of an HOA then you automatically become a member and are required to pay fees as well as following the HOA rule.
As you can imagine, without knowing those rules you could have an awful time trying to get anything done on your property. The best tool you can arm yourself with is knowledge! That’s why we wanted to give you an overview of some of the common HOA rules. Keep in mind that the rules for each HOA are not the same, so be sure to familiarize yourself with your own community’s HOA’s rules.
Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions
An HOA is run by members of the community and they operate based on the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs). These are designed to protect, maintain and enhance the homes and property of the community. Before buying your house, consider familiarizing yourself with the guidelines and what the HOA is legally allowed to do if you don’t comply with them.
If you aren’t sure where to find the document, ask your real estate agent to obtain them for you. It’s important to ensure that you are willing to abide by the CC&Rs otherwise you may run into difficulty at some point.
Part of the HOAs responsibilities is the overall aesthetics of the community. Therefore, you may encounter HOA rules about landscaping and lawn care. You might see rules about keeping your lawn cut and not letting it become overgrown. However, others rules may spell out may have do’s and don’ts about what plants you can or cannot plant.
If you are buying a property with the intention of renting out that property, double check to be sure the HOA rules will allow it. Some HOA only want homeowners occupying the residences in the community instead of short-term renters.
Interestingly, your HOA may have rules regarding how many vehicles you can have, where they can be parked or even what kind of vehicle you can have on your property. For instance, you may not be allowed to have an RV or boat in your driveway.
Some HOAs have restrictions about pets. There may be rules on whether your pet must be leashed or how many pets you can have. If you’re a pet owner, check to be sure that your HOA doesn’t have limitations that may surprise you after a home purchase.
Many HOAs have rules regarding trash. Such as when you can put your trash on the curb and when you must bring it in. They may also have rules regarding what can be put in the communal dumpster.
Holiday Decorations & Yard Signs
Many HOAs have restrictions on holiday decorations and signs homeowners can display in their yard. Your HOA might restrict you on when you can begin putting up holiday decorations as well as how soon after the holiday you must bring those decorations down. If you love having Christmas decorations out all year long, then ensure your HOA does not have that rule!
A common sense HOA rule that you’re bound to run into is noise. There is likely a rule on how much noise can be made at different times. Such as no loud noises after 10 pm.
Most HOAs have control over what changes can be made to the design of your house. Likely they will not allow you to change too much and the changes should match the designs of the other houses in the neighborhood. It’s likely they’ll also have a say on other things such as paint colors.
Let Sarah Bernard Help You Buy Your House!
The Sarah Bernard Realty Team is very experienced with navigating the difficulties an HOA presents when buying a house. We will advise you on the HOA rules and help you determine if the house is right for you! We are here to help you find your perfect house without hassle! Contact us now for a complimentary consultation! Call 317-780-9070 now.