Considering Buying a Home With an HOA? What to Know

Buying a home with an HOA is a different experience than buying a home without an HOA. HOA’s (homeowners association) can dictate various details about how homeowners in their association live their lives. The agreement you sign with your HOA when you buy your home might dictate everything from the way you decorate your home to where your guests can park and more. It’s wise to gather details about your prospective HOA functions and what to expect when living with an HOA before you purchase your home. 

Fees Can Span a Range

HOA fees can span a significant range, with some homeowner associations charging less than $100 per month and others charging several hundred per month. Know the fees and the likelihood of an increase in costs in the years after moving in.

The agreement you sign will provide details about how the HOA can increase fees, but you should also ask the HOA itself if any future assessments are coming shortly. If you can meet other homeowners in the HOA, ask them whether they’ve had recent increases or assessments, and if so, when and how often? 

Know the Fines for Rule Breaking

Some HOAs impose severe penalties for breaking the rules. Penalties can include anything from being sued to a lien on your home. Find out what the penalties are for breaking the rules in the HOA where you are considering buying a home and what the process is for finding out about those broken rules. Some HOAs offer mediation services between two homeowners in disagreement. Know the process and what it entails. 

Read the Entire Agreement

Most important of all is to ensure that you can abide by the rules that the HOA has established. Since you could be living in the HOA for quite some time, you’ll want to be sure that the agreement you sign is one you can stick to. There may be information in the contract about pets, upgrades, and changes you can (and can’t!) make to your home, landscaping rules, and more. 

When you’re reading the agreement, think about your future goals as a homeowner and as an individual or a family, whatever the case may be. If you know yourself well enough to know that your life will fit in nicely with the rules of this HOA, then you may decide it’s an excellent choice to move forward with the purchase of this home. However, if you’re not sure whether your goals as a homeowner genuinely fit in the lifestyle presented by the HOA, this may not be the property for you. 

Know What’s In Other HOA Agreements

Compare the HOA agreement for the home you’re considering with other HOA agreements in the area. How does it compare? If the agreement seems overly strict, you may be happier buying a home in another neighborhood. 

Moving Soon? Find the Right Moving Company

Make your move a success. Find the right moving company to help load and unload your truck – or even pack and unpack your items. This will give you more time to focus on finding the right home!