THE HONEST BROKER: ALL HOMEOWNER ASSOCIATIONS ARE NOT EQUAL
There are pros and cons for purchase in an HOA development. The purchaser must decide if the benefits outweigh the negatives
In an HOA, there are documents that establish rules, restrictions. It is very important to review the documents and become aware of any restrictions that would prevent you from buying. It is so important to review, that it is part of the buying process under Florida Statute law. The buyer has the right to cancel within 3 days of receiving the documents if there is a conflict or a rule that they were not made aware of.
Found within the documents will be what the association’s responsibilities are for maintenance, amenities, restrictions on repairs, rules for living in the development and what the responsibilities are for the homeowner.
Some HOA’s are pretty restrictive and some are not.
There could be rules for excluding vehicles or pets, maintenance requirements for your home, and believe it or not, I’ve seen it in documents how there could be a fine for excessive growth of a lawn. There is one community I know of in particular that would send someone out to measure the length of one’s grass and issue citations or fines if not corrected promptly. Now the measuring of grass is very rare and excessive but it only goes to show you that you need to be aware of the expectations before purchase.
On the other hand, living within an HOA can be a positive experience too. When all residents follow the same rules and regulations for upkeep of their homes, it preserves the resale value of your home. The amount, cost and upkeep of the amenities provided are, in most cases, well worth the association dues. The resident does not have to deal with the repairs themselves and have only the enjoyment of use.
One more thing, ask for the budget for the current year to see where the money is going, how it’s spent and if it has enough in “reserves” to take care of any unforeseen disasters that may arise. In doing that, you will find out how fiscally sound the community is and if there may be any special assessments that might come into play in the future.
Stay well and healthy,
Diane Lott, Broker
Paradise Found Realty, Inc. of Palm City
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