Homeowner's Association (HOA)

Definition of "Homeowner's Association (HOA)"

A Homeowner’s Association (HOA) is an organized group of homeowners in a home subdivision, condominium, or cooperative complex. They come together and found a Homeowner’s Association in order to take actions and precautions against shared concerns regarding environmental code enforcement, and common maintenance issues.

Hold on, hold on… what about organizing social events?! I won’t believe this homeowner’s association definition if you don’t mention social events because that’s ALL my homeowner’s association does!

Yes, it’s true. Homeowner’s Associations do organize a lot of events, but it’s more of a “means to an end” thing in order to integrate its members. The main goal of a HOA is to act as an ensemble so that a problem produced by one household in the vicinities does not affect the whole of their community, so instilling everyone of a community sense helps and social gatherings are a great tool for that. Plus: hooray for parties, right?

The basic requirement in order to belong to a Homeowner’s Association is, of course, being a homeowner within the limits of that HOA, but every homeowner’s association has its own set of guidelines, so some might charge a fee of as much as $400 a month in order to maintain their work of protecting the community’s interests. The more upscale the houses within that community, the more expensive the monthly fee – as maintenance and security of amenities become costly.

Typically, HOAs are created or organized by the developer or builder of the condominium, cooperative or planned unit development, and its power grasp will vary from statute to statute. It can be as loose as just looking over common areas like the pool, outside laundry etc. and it can be as restrictive as determining uniformity from the door out; that is: you can do whatever you want inside your house, but the windows, doors and outside wall colors must be the same as everyone’s or within a certain style guidebook. Or determining subleases and airbnb renting are prohibited.

If you buy a house within a Homeowner’s Association you cannot say “no, thanks”. Joining is compulsory. If you don’t want to be under their umbrella, if it bothers you that, aside from the regular city ordinances and restrictions, you’ll also be subject to their own; don’t buy the house, don’t move. So, the deal is: if you are to buy a home, pay close attention to its Homeowner’s Association. Take a good look at their rules, talk about it with future neighbors. Make sure you’re okay to live under this HOA’s guidance because they can have a powerful impact on your rights as a homeowner.

Real Estate Tips:

A real estate agent will be your best friend here. Simply because he wants you to get that house, right? So make him do the dirty work and ask the home seller for a copy of minutes from the last meeting of the HOA – or maybe even sit at one of their meetings? Ask him to get a copy of their rulebook, check how much their fee is, their lawsuits history etc. Know who you’re getting in bed with!

image of a real estate dictionary page

Have a question or comment?

We're here to help.

*** Your email address will remain confidential.
 

 

Popular Real Estate Terms

Property deed in which the grantor limits the title warranty to the grantee. A grantor does not warrant a title defect to the property occurring from a happening before the time of his ...

Falsify financial records and statements to misrepresent the financial position and operating results of the business. ...

The definition of adjoining properties describes two or more real estate properties, lots, or parcels that shared a boundary. A property that shares a common border with another is ...

Horizontal supports for the ceiling of a structure. ...

Dehydrated gypsum that is mixed with water to form a rapidly setting material. Plaster of paris sets too rapidly to be practical for most building applications, but it is useful for ...

Amount charged for each unit of rental property. An example of a unit might be square footage of space or an apartment. ...

Space reserved for specified vehicles. For example, an office building may have space available for automobiles of tenants, clients of tenants, and other visitors. Parking facilities may be ...

Foreclosed property is sold via a sheriff's deed. The amount received is used to pay the balance of any obligations against the owner or real estate. ...

Properties that about and actually touch and share a common border. Properties B and C are contiguous. Property A is adjacent to properties B and C, but it is not contiguous. ...

Popular Real Estate Questions