Quick Takeaways

  • An HOA, or Homeowners Association, is a “group of homeowners in a defined area” which could range from a two-unit townhome, a development of condos, or an entire master-planned neighborhood of single family homes. 
  • Most HOAs are non-profits, and the money generated from them is used to upkeep the shared property including landscaping and community areas.
  • HOAs have boards, and volunteering to sit on one can work to your advantage! Not only will you become extra familiar with the rules, but you will get to know your neighbors and have a say in how your home is run.

Source: Your Guide to HOAs (U.S. News and World Report, Jan. 24, 2023)

Hiring an HOA manager is a big step in any association’s journey, and it is important to do plenty of research to figure out if a manger is right for you. If your association decides a manger is the path you want to take, finding the right management company is the next step! Make sure to ask them questions about their mission statement and philosophy on handling conflict – you will want their philosophy to closely align with yours! 

HOAs are a common part of the homebuying experience for many. Whether you are purchasing a condominium in a high rise, a townhome, or a single-family home in a master-planned or gated community, an HOA could be in your future! Homeowners associations act as governing boards to help maintain the common areas of shared living spaces. Your monthly or yearly HOA fee will often cover the cost of landscaping and routine maintenance, but make sure you familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations.

In addition to your HOA fee, which is due on a monthly basis special, assessments may be collected throughout your time in the property. Special assessments are usually levied when there is an emergency, like frozen pipes, or when a major project needs to be undertaken and the usual HOA fees will not cover it, like a new roof or a previously agreed upon addition, like a rooftop patio.

Volunteering for your HOA is a not only a great way to get to know your neighbors, but a much-needed act of service to keep your home and community running smoothly! HOAs are often run by volunteer boards and sitting on your board will give you a better insight into how your HOA is run, and allow you to be part of the important decision making!

Unfortunately, the very nature of shared living and HOAs means there is bound to be neighborly disagreements from time to time. If these disagreements escalate, an attorney will often need to get involved. Make sure your HOA rules are clear and applied evenly to every tenant. Rules also need to be reasonable, and many states have laws on the books preventing unreasonable and unenforceable laws. 

See References for more information.