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Is a HOA the route for you?

by Masha Halpern

Many new home buyers have never lived in a community with an homeowner’s association. Home Owner Associations or HOAs are a regulatory board found in planned communities, gated communities, condominium complexes and subdivisions. A Homeowners association collects fees or “assessments” from individual home owners to cover certain expenses. For example maintenance of common areas, insurance and health or safety improvements.  A HOA also enforces rules and regulations set forth by the developer or property owner.

The Community Association Institute estimates that nearly one out of every six Americans lives in a community association.  Before purchasing a Chapel Hill home that is regulated by an HOA, it is very important to read their bylaws.  These are laws governed by the association. Always ask questions so that you can make an informed decision. Here are a few to help you get started:

  • Ask the HOA about parking limitations/restrictions, pet limitations/restrictions with respect to quantity, size and type, restrictions related to outdoor decor/furniture/grilling restrictions (for balcony/patio), and if there are any current outstanding assessments the new owner will be responsible for assuming.
  • Be certain to ask if there is any active litigation, as this may affect buyer financing, and also indicates possible red flags with property in general you will want your home inspector to do extra due diligence on.
  • If you don't agree with something in the bylaws/restrictions, do you have any recourse?
  • What do monthly HOA assessments/fees cover? HOA fees typically cover common ground concerns such as landscaping, pest control, pool and fitness center maintenance, guard gate/security services and common area taxes. They sometimes cover utilities such as trash, water or cable television.
  • How often do HOA assessments/fees increase (and at what percentage), so you can be prepared for rising costs down the road?  Also ask, will the members be able to vote on the rising cost?

There are a lot of positives and negatives in becoming a part of a homeowners association.  It may or may not fit into your lifestyle and ideas.  Read the agreement well before you consider a home with a homeowners association.  Ask the homeowners in the community about the services they receive because of the agreement.  The better you understand how all the locals feel about their association, the easier it will be for you to know if it is right for you.  Also you want to know how the association deals with issues that arise. You want to know what you are getting yourself into before you fall in love with the new North Carolina house!

 

 

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Questions To Ask HOA's

by

If you are looking to buy a house, condo or townhouse you will likely look at some that are part of a homeowners association. New home buyers who have never lived in a community with an association before typically have many questions. The Community Associations Institute estimates that nearly one out of every six Americans lives in a community association and that, in 2007, HOAs governed 23.8 million American homes and 58.8 million residents. 

A HOA is essentially an internal regulatory board often found in planned communities, gated communities, condominium complexes and subdivisions.  A homeowners association collects fees or "assessments" from individual home owners to cover certain expenses, such as maintenance of common areas, insurance, and health or safety improvements.  An HOA also enforces the rules and regulations set forth by the developer or property owner.

Before purchasing a home that is regulated by an HOA it is important to read the by-laws governed by the association and ask questions. Below are some questions that can get you started so you have all the information you need to make an informed decision.

  • Ask the HOA about parking limitations/restrictions, pet limitations/restrictions with respect to quantity, size and type, restrictions related to outdoor decor/furniture/grilling restrictions (for balcony/patio), and if there are any current outstanding assessments the new owner will be responsible for assuming.
  • Be certain to ask if there is any active litigation, as this may affect buyer financing, and also indicates possible red flags with property in general you will want your home inspector to do extra due diligence on.
  • If you don't agree with something in the bylaws/restrictions, do you have any recourse?
  • What do monthly HOA assessments/fees cover? HOA fees typically cover common ground concerns such as landscaping, pest control, pool and fitness center maintenance, guard gate/security services and common area taxes. They sometimes cover utilities such as trash, water or cable television.
  • How often do HOA assessments/fees increase (and at what percentage), so you can be prepared for rising costs down the road?  Also ask, will the members be able to vote on the rising cost?

There are pros and cons to being a part of a homeowners association, it may or may not fit with your lifestyle and ideals.  Before considering a home with an owners association read the agreement.  Ask the homeowners in the community about the services they receive.  This way you can get a feel for how happy the locals are about their association.  Also, be sure to make sure you know how the association deals with issues that arise.  It is better to be safe and know what you are getting into before you fall in love with the house.

Displaying blog entries 1-2 of 2

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Photo of Masha Halpern - Boutique Real Estate Real Estate
Masha Halpern - Boutique Real Estate
Keller Williams Realty
101 Cosgrove Avenue, Suite 200
Chapel Hill NC 27514
Direct 919-951-1780
Toll Free 877-478-4669
Fax: 919-928-9030




Masha Halpern of Keller Williams Realty provides real estate services in the Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Durham, North Carolina area including real estate services for buyer, sellers and those relocating to the surrounding areas of Apex, Bahama,Cary, Efland, Hillsborough, Holly Springs, Mebane, Raleigh, and Wake Forest. Search for homes in Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Durham or the surrounding communities.  Request a market analysis for your North Carolina property.  I list and sell residential real estate, investment property, vacant land, lots for sale in Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Durham, North Carolina area.

Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Durham, North Carolina real estate and homes for sale in North Carolina - Masha Halpern & The Smart Move Team

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