What is a Home Owner’s Association?
Commonly referred to as an HOA…
An HOA is an organization in a subdivision, planned community or condominium that makes and enforces rules for the properties within its own authority.
Purchasing a home within one of these communities automatically makes the homeowner a member of the HOA in which dues are collected.
Typically, there is a board of directors that are elected to oversee and enforce the bylaws and declaration of convents & restrictions. The HOA can have certain legal power over the property owners. The items they can have input on can vary but could include:
- structural items
- color of homes
- front door design
- shingle design and color.
The HOA typically collects a monthly/quarterly/yearly fee. This fee helps take care of common areas, parks, tennis courts, basketball courts, swimming pools, gyms and community centers. If the HOA lacks the funds to fix, repair or improve these areas they might impose special assessments on the homeowners. The HOA can also put a lien on a property if the homeowner falls behind on dues and monetary penalties could be imposed for breaking the rules.
Some advantages to living in a home that is part of a Home Owner’s Association:
- They maintain a standard of appearance, regulations, and guidelines for the community
- It promotes stable property values, architectural standards that are designed to keep homes unified in appearance
- Use of common areas and community amenities
Some negatives to living in a home that is part of a Home Owner’s Association:
- Fees can become costly and rules can be too restrictive for homeowners
- HOA’s also need a consensus of its member to get community projects, improvements and upgrades approved.
- Conflicts could arise between homeowners who vote for or against these improvements.
Thinking about buying a home with a development? Take some time and review the HOA guidelines and regulations. Your Realtor is a good resource for connecting you with this information!
Below are some websites for local developments in Central PA with a Home Owner’s Association.