The main purpose of an HOA is to help to keep everyone’s property values as high as possible. The HOA maintains the common property of the community. At a minimum, this refers to entrance landscaping and signage. However, it can also include amenities such as: parks, playgrounds, athletic facilities, club house, community pool, etc. It can also include retention ponds, roads, gates, walking trails, etc.
To keep property values high, HOA’s usually have a minimum standard of upkeep for each vacant lot or developed lot in the neighborhood. There are usually minimum construction standards such as: square footage of each building, required minimum landscaping standards, and getting prior approval from the architectural review committee prior to construction or changes to the exterior of any building or landscaping or lot. These guidelines are all spelled out in the covenants of the HOA.
The owner's association is funded by requiring an annual assessment be paid by each member of the HOA. Membership in the hoa is almost always mandatory. If assessments are not paid, the hoa has the right to put a lien on the property and ultimately foreclose for lack of payment. The HOA also has the right to fine members of the hoa for non-compliance with the covenants.
Unless you are willing to follow the rules of the homeowner's association, you should consider buying property that is not regulated by an HOA.
You should definitely read all the governing documents of the condo or homeowner's associatn before you decide to purchase. Once you purchase, you are bound by the regulations.
Here are some common examples of covenant restrictions that we see in homeowner's associations:
- You might not be able to store a boat or an RV on your property
- You may not be able to erect a basketball goal on your property
- You may not be able to install an above ground pool or even the type of fence that you would want
- You may not be allowed to run a business out your home
By reading the governing documents, you should know the answers to most of your questions. If you still have questions, we recommend you contact the board of directors of the homeowner's association or the HOA mananger.
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Sales Office 4400 Bayou Blvd. #52B, Pensacola, FL 32503 (850) 453-9220 www.RealtyMastersofFlorida.com
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