Buying into a community that has a homeowners association has many benefits to be enjoyed. However, some aspects of this type of living can result in stress, namely fees and responsibilities. To avoid the negatives it is best to have a good understanding of what a homeowners association is, how it works, and your role in it. By making a good decision up front you will save yourself time, money, and headaches later on. For an overview, rely on your trusted real estate agent in Westmont IL, Beata Kolpek.
What Is It?
A homeowners association is a private association formed with the purpose of managing and selling houses in a given area. In general, it is a way of maintaining order in a given housing community and making sure that everything is kept up well. The property value is also maintained as owners commit to a certain level of maintenance. When people think of homeowners associations, they often think of condominiums. However, they can also exist in townhomes and housing developments. HOA’s have rules for things like the color you are allowed to paint your home, what you can build, noise level, clutter, pets, and others. There are also fees to pay for various benefits like landscaping, snow removal, and amenities.
Not all homeowners associations are the same and the rules of each will pertain to the type of housing community. Participants may be responsible for the upkeep of common areas. These may include:
Each homeowners association has something called covenants, conditions, and restrictions. These are rules regarding what you can and cannot do to your house. For example, you may not be able to have a satellite dish that is visible or certain types of pets may not be allowed. Make sure you read these conditions thoroughly before making a commitment.
On the low-end homeowners association dues can be around two hundred dollars per month and up to $400. The types of amenities that your HOA offers will make the difference. Some have things like a sauna, fitness rooms, and tennis courts. The cost will also depend on maintenance issues and renovations. If your condo needs a new roof your monthly fees may be affected, for example.
Why the Stress?
The difficulty typically comes when the rules are broken or the fees seem to be too much. There are a couple ways to respond to eliminate this source of stress. First, make sure you have a complete understanding of what it means to be a part of a homeowners association and how much it will cost you each month. This way there won’t be any surprises later on. If you are already living in a community that has a HOA, you might consider getting more involved in the process. Take part in voting on various issues, make suggestions, or join the board of directors. This is what is known as being a part of the solution. No one is perfect and no homeowners association is either. It takes a community of people investing in their community to make it work.
For help finding the home that is right for you contact Westmont IL real estate agent Beata Kolpek.