If you’re unfamiliar with how a homeowner’s association (HOA) works, it may require a bit of explanation as to why it exists and what it can do for you. A homeowner’s association (HOA) is an organization in a planned urban community, condominium building, townhouse, subdivision co-op, or even a neighborhood that makes and enforces rules for the properties and their residents. Those who purchase property within an HOA’s jurisdiction automatically become member residents and are required to pay dues, known as HOA fees. Among the member residents, there are usually elections to vote for an HOA board to represent the homeowners or members of the homeowner’s association. Some homeowner’s associations can be very restrictive about what members can and cannot do with their properties.
The homeowner’s association technically owns the land and you as a member of the HOA own a portion of the homeowner’s association. What you own is the inside of your home, condo (or townhouse, etc). Typically, the HOA owns the area outside of the inner walls (such as the exterior, roof, etc). To gain a better understanding of how you can benefit every day from your HOA, let’s look at things your HOA is typically responsible for in Omaha and Council Bluffs, and other communities.
One of the most obvious things your HOA covers for its residents is keeping the common areas of your neighborhood clean and in working shape. Elements or common areas are usually defined broadly. They include amenities or spaces and upkeep such as providing mowing, trimming, and landscaping services, heating a lighting a common clubhouse, maintaining common parks located within the HOA that are available for use by all homeowners paying dues and living in the development.
Any open facilities, such as swimming pools, ballrooms, and fitness centers, are part of what you’re paying your HOA to keep the operating day in and day out. Road maintenance, litter pickup, and general upkeep in common areas are also covered by the HOA.
The additional amenities provided under an HOA can often be a big incentive for potential residents, and taking advantage of these locations is all thanks to your local HOA.
Enforcing Neighborhood Regulations
Any neighborhood under the purview of an HOA comes equipped with a set of existing rules and regulations that were thought up, voted on by the homeowner associations board and members, and put into practice when the HOA was first formed.
These rules were originally created to assemble a baseline assumption of proper behavior amongst residents, while also cultivating a particular neighborhood culture that is desired by its residents. Some of the topics covered by these rules could include parking, pets, trash pickup schedules, and stylistic choices on the exterior of your home. An association has the duty to enforce the restrictions set forth in its covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&R’s). When it fails to do so, a homeowner can sue the association for damages and an injunction to compel the association to enforce the provisions of the [CC&Rs].
When you first begin looking at properties in an HOA, you are provided information that details the rules and regulations enforced by your HOA, and you should certainly familiarize yourself with them to have a better understanding of the behavior and culture expected in the neighborhood. You may also want to contact your local real estate agent in Omaha and Council Bluffs to help you with the information you need when looking at properties in an HOA.
Occasionally, there will be disputes that arise between residents. To help resolve these complaints in a fair and timely manner, the HOA is the perfect body to act as an impartial mediator.
The HOA will begin by investigating the complaint and discussing everything with any involved parties. The next step is for the HOA to take into account the details of any regulations involved with a given complaint, and do their best to fairly bring the complaint to a conclusion in line with those regulations.
This style of dealing with complaints also gives residents the opportunity to review regulations on a regular basis.
To accomplish all of these things, the HOA collects dues from its members on a schedule determined by the HOA and its residents.
The schedule and amount due is another piece of information given to you when looking at HOA properties. The dues you pay into your HOA are managed by the treasurer of the HOA, which is a position normally filled through an election in which the residents vote for their chosen candidate.
To learn more about other HOA dues for its members, contact a professional local real estate agent in Council Bluffs and Omaha like Chris and her team of Homes By Chris Harter. Contact them at 402-378-9462 now!
Holding Routine Meetings
Every fiscal year, your HOA will put out a meeting schedule that will include dates, times, and locations for any meetings.
Oftentimes, HOA meetings are optional, but resident attendance is highly encouraged. These meetings exist first and foremost to keep the lines of communication in the HOA between both the board and its residents as well as between residents as open and clear as can be.
HOA meetings are the forum to discuss changes to any HOA rules, keep up-to-date on any neighborhood goings-on, and voice concerns residents may have or can foresee down the road.
Help Understanding Things Your HOA Is Responsible for in Omaha and Council Bluffs
If you’re considering purchasing a home in an HOA, you need help learning all the ins and outs! You’re probably asking yourself what makes a good HOA? Our professional local realtor in Omaha and Council Bluffs can help you understand all the things your HOA is responsible for. You know you can always contact our local realtor in Council Bluffs and Omaha like Chris and her team at Homes by Chris Harter today at 402-378-9462 or visit www.homesbychrisharter.com!