Make your new HOA work for you

Buying a new house is both exhausting and exciting. You have a new space to enjoy. You get to call a new place home. You get to do fun things-like decorate and plan. You also have to deal with packing, unpacking and paperwork. The process of house-hunting can be difficult. The process of purchasing a home can be extensive. It is detail-oriented and some aspects can be confusing.

When you purchase a home, you will want to really pay attention to finances.Some houses have Home Owners Associations (HOAs) tied to them. The purpose is to have a collective that enforces rules and regulations in your neighborhood. Oftentimes, HOAs come with fees that can be due either monthly, annually or bi-annually.

If you do buy a home with an HOA, make sure you know what to expect and how it works.

  • Know what the bylaws are.
  • Expect your HOA to work for you. If you have needs or questions, don't be afraid to present these to the HOA board.
  • Be involved in HOA communications. Meet your neighbors. Ask to be informed of agenda items and other communications brought to the board. If there are elections for new board members, become involved. Know who is on the board and what their stance is on issues important to you.
  • Get approval for any changes you want to make to your home ahead of time. Know the rules for things such as paint color, fence codes and yard structures.
  • Familiarize yourself with the HOAs financial reports. Understand the different budget categories and know what your dues are paying for.

You will want to pay your HOA fees on time. You should know if it is possible for the dues to increase. Bring any questions to the HOA board and get any disputes in writing. If you are having trouble with your HOA, you may want to seek legal help. Document any communication with your HOA. Remember that the HOA is in place to help keep your new home and neighborhood at its best.

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