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Learning the True Meaning of HOA

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By : Flynna Jones    99 or more times read
It is no wonder why many people want to live or stay in a subdivision. Why not? You have gone to subdivisions every now and then maybe to visit a friend or a relative. Perhaps you have noticed how life goes in there. How the people live their lives. But most of all perhaps you have noticed their community; how well they are organized; how amazing their landscapes; how quiet and peaceful the surroundings; how enviable their amenities like their clubhouses, swimming pools, tennis courts and other recreational facilities. It is quite a lifestyle to live there. Why is this so? It is because they have organized themselves into an association they call Homeowners Association or HOA for short, which has got a lot to do for all these facilities and privileges. The association does most of these things for the homeowners and renters as well. You are really a privileged person when you are a member of a HOA.

The HOA is a non-profit organization managed by the homeowners themselves usually through their officers whom they elected for a certain term of office. The HOA governs the community; they manage the affairs of the organization. Usually they have two main functions which is to enforce the covenant, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs) to the members of the HOA, and to collect fines and membership fees that will be used by the HOA in managing the community.

Aside from the by laws, the CC&R is the main concern for every member of the HOA, because every action of the homeowner within the community should be guided by the stipulations in the CC&R. e.g. you cannot just paint your house with the color you like, or you cannot just have a party anytime you wish and even park your car anywhere. Some of these activities need permission from the managing group of the HOA. They are imposed to protect the interest of the homeowners. Although this is so, some of them are disagreeable and sometimes extreme. In some other places there are exclusionary provisions in the CC&Rs as to the kind of pets or race of people to be allowed to stay in the subdivision. And so, now you see, it is not always heaven in living in a subdivision and to be a member of a HOA.

Before deciding to buy a house in a particular community, check first and scrutinized well the CC&R of that community to avoid future problems and regrets. Better still look for a community that has a more lenient provisions and stipulations in their CC&R.

As to the fees mentioned above, the HOA uses these fees to maintain the amenities, up-keeping of roads, street lamps, and many others. It is also use for the recreational facilities like clubhouses and sports gyms that is exclusive for the members. The members are always encouraged not to renege on their fees as this will have some unfavorable consequences to the party involved.

Non-payment of fees can lead to severe penalties, in worst cases the HOA may impose a lien on your property or force foreclosure without undergoing due process. You can be evicted and your property sold to pay any outstanding balance. Harsh, is it not? But it is true.

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