Real Estate

Some HOA rules to watch out for when buying

In our modern society, homeowner’s associations and their rules govern more and more housing developments. Some rules can be very restrictive.

If you are considering buying a home, there are wide variety of things you need to keep in mind. These days, many newer homes are parts of developments and developments come with something known as homeowner’s associations. A homeowner’s association is essentially a cooperative for a development run by the owners of the various homes.

The association is created by the original developer who sets out a variety of rules regarding what can and cannot be done by homeowners living in the development. The idea behind the rules is to keep the neighborhood appearance uniform as well as maintain common areas such as landscaping, pools and so on. These rules can be changed, but it is fairly difficult to get all the homeowners to agree to do so.

If you are considering buying a home in a development, you need to be very careful. Specifically, you need to read the rules of the homeowner’s association. Then you need to read them again. They are boring and tend to be rather thick. Fail to read them, however, and you can end up with a home where you cannot live the lifestyle you are used to.

Things to watch out for include:

  1. Are pets allowed in the development? If so, are there restrictions on the kind or pets? Are there restrictions on the number of pets? Many developments have severe restrictions in this regard.
  2. Parking is an often overlooked issue by many home buyers. Specifically, the rules may contain restrictions on the number of cars that can be parked on the street, in a driveway and so on. If you have teenagers, this can quickly become a problem.
  3. If you decide you want to rent your property at some point, you may be surprised to learn some association rules are so restrictive as to make it impossible. Again, read the language closely.
  4. If you prefer to change the oil on your car yourself or do some maintenance, many associations bar any such activity.
  5. If you have younger children, you might be surprised to learn that some homeowner’s association do not allow them to play in the front yard. Talk about a nightmare.

The list of rules and regulations for developments tend to be voluminous and a bit on the heavy handed side. Make sure to inspect them closely before buying into a development.

About the author
Raynor James is with the site – FSBO America – FSBO homes for sale by owner.