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America's Love/Hate Relationship With Their Homeowners Association

credit sesame | BY: HELLISH AMERICA'S LOVE/HATE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE HOA | I Mention "homeowners association" to a group of HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATIONS homeowners and chances are you'll get all kinds of responses: from approving nods to those not | so appropriate for print. Why do American I homeowners have a love/ hate relationship with their HOAS? Read on to find out. WHAT IS A HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION? AN HOA is an organization that governs over a planned community or condominium complex by making and enforcing rules for the properties within its jurisdiction. HOAS collect dues from property owners to pay for the upkeep of common areas and cover special repairs. 2 Each homeowner in a given community is issued "Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions" (CC&Rs) in order to maintain the property value of the homes in the area. Fines and penalties are given to those who fail to adhere. There is usually a community board or hired management company (or both) that oversees the enforcement of CC&Rs. If you own a condominium or townhome, chances are you pay HOA fees. 2$ THE HOA TAKEOVER HOA residences represent around 15 percent of the value of all U.S. residential real estate. Nationwide, HOAS operate on a combined budget of around $40 billion. Number of HOAS over the past five decades. 1990 2000 2010 1970 1980 69,550 NUMBER OF COMMUNITIES 19.260 5.350 9,523,000 13.268.000 NUMBER OF HOUSING UNITS 6,206,000 1926.000 315.035 3.170,000 15,836,000 24.182.000 NUMBER OF RESIDENTS S,136.000 L123.500 Numbers include only U.S. association-governed communities and individual housing units and residents within those communities. WHAT DO HOA FEES COVER? THE AVERAGE ANNUAL ÔBÒåô HOA FEE IN THE U.S. IS $420. In general, these fees cover the following items: LAWN CARE EXTERIOR INSURANCE CITY SERVICES Usually includes snow removal Covers the exterior and property Trash removal, water, and sewage around the residence MAINTENANCE COMMUNITY BUILDINGS PEST CONTROL Access to and maintenance for Property monitored to avoid pest infestation Includes building exterior: roof repairs, painting, pavement community-use buildings such as communirtty centers, pools, and workout rooms THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY Homeowners typically love or hate their HOA. Here are some reasons why this might be the case. THE GOOD HOAS help maintain values and regulations in a community – that (usually) helps retain the value of the property. They can provide amenities for the community, such as community centers, swimming pools, workout rooms, tennis courts, gardening services, and more. j $$$ They take care of maintenance headaches that single-home residents would usually be responsible for themselves. HOAS often send out community newsletters that provide noteworthy news and reminders. THE BAD HOAS impose many strict rules on their residents, many of which may seem absurd. Possible examples include: No parking shabby vehicles in the driveway Strict landscaping restrictions No raising an American flag (This restriction, however, is no longer legal since the Freedom to Display the American Flag Act was passed in 2005) No smoking inside (or even right outside) your home No Christmas lights Over the years, HOAS have been involved in a number of lawsuits over the legality of their rules. Governing bodies typically take the hard line and are strict in their enforcement of the CC&Rs. THE UGLY Laws regulating the power of an HOA vary from state to state, but many have significant legal power over the properties within their communities. Since the collapse of the housing bubble, many homeowners have been unable to pay their fees. HOAS usually have the power to place a lien on a property or force a homeowner into foreclosure. CALIFORNIA DRAWS A HARD LINE According to one study in California, HOAS foreclosed homes on owners who owed a median amount of $2,000. Homeowners associations Unlike property owners evicting in California can legally begin foreclosing on homes only 75 days after a missed a tenant, associations are not required to go through a court to foreclose. payment is due. TIPS FOR THE NEW HOMEOWNER If you are buying a home in a community where HOA fees are required, take the following steps to ensure you are making the right decision: PAY READ Always pay your dues, even if you are fighting a dispute. Failure to pay will often lead to additional late charges or foreclosure. НОА Read the HOA bylaws, CC&Rs, and fine print before you buy the home so you know exactly what type of agreement you are entering into. RESEARCH BUDGET If you are going to dispute the HOA for any reason, find out if anyone else in the community has had a similar problem-or if anyone has done the same thing as you but Factor HOA fees into your budget. Make room for any special assess- ments that may arise from natural disasters. And remember the unwritten law: HOA fees always without penalty. Be professional, not emotional. go up; never down. SOURCES: CAIONLINE.ORG | QUICKENLOANS.COM | HOUSELOGIC.COM | INVESTOPEDIA.COMLAWYERS.COM 165,636 119,038

America's Love/Hate Relationship With Their Homeowners Association

shared by ColumnFive on Nov 28
Mention "homeowners association" to a group of homeowners and chances are you'll get all kinds of responses: from approving nods to those not so appropriate for print. Why do American homeowners have ...


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