Do you live in a tower block, apartment building or condominium? Are you at breaking point with your homeowner’s assocation? Have a look at this simple guide to see if you can make your homeowner’s association work for you.
What exactly is a HOA, homeowner’s association?
A homeowner’s association (HOA) is an organisation set up by your property developers to ensure the daily management of your residential building. Property developers often choose to outsource the running of the HOA to external companies which specialise in such services. An example of some of the services offered by these companies can be found here: http://www.cedarmanagementgroup.com/cherry-grove-beach-sc-hoa-management/.
Realistically for the homeowners themselves, HOAs are the first port of call when things go wrong. They can often help to fix and repair issues. However, the reality of it is that HOAs are always functioning in the background to keep the daily services of the building running.
They organise waste removal, snow clearance, cleaning and staffing of communal areas and even settle disputes between neighbours.
What is the controversy surrounding HOAs?
Many feel that HOAs are not necessarily a good thing and there seem to be many negative points associated with them.
Firstly, HOAs are pretty expensive to be a part of. As a retired person you may have saved your whole life to pay off your property and be annoyed that you still have to fork out expensive fees simply because you are part of the building. These fees are non optional and do increase on a yearly basis. There have even been many cases of residents not being able to meet these fees and even being evicted.
Secondly, HOAs enforce rules and regulations. Such factors are usually understandable and help residents to not only comply with health and safety laws but also to be better neighbours. However, many find obeying certain tedious regulations as time consuming and unnecessary.
The positive points
Despite the negative press of HOAs there are several positive points to being a member.
They take care of all of the boring daily maintenance tasks so you don’t have to. This means you can enjoy a swim in the communal pool or even head to the gym without worrying about who will clean up after you.
Whilst there are cases where HOAs have actually caused problems between neighbours, it is more likely that being part of a HOA will foster good relationships within the area. You are welcome to attend monthly meetings to discuss residential issues and these can be a fantastic way of meeting your neighbours and establishing a positive community.
An perhaps most importantly, HOAs can save you money. Since they provide facilities such as a pool, you don’t need to fork out any extra cash to go for a swim. Additionally, when there are maintenance issues within the building, your HOA will be able to provide the most cost effective solution. But the factor which can save, or even earn, you the most money is due to the fact that HOAs actually protect the value of your property and can even lead to the increase of its value at a higher rate than average!