Home Owner Associations in Charlotte
Home owner associations wmdgouls | homeowners association are designed to make a community more livable by creating and enforcing rules that must be followed by all residents. But these rules can also restrict homeowner choices and cause homeowners to pay fees that they may not need to.
Some declarants and management companies deny homeowner requests for financial records and board meeting minutes. This can lead to expensive legal fights that can be detrimental to homeowner’s finances.
Rules and Restrictions
Homeowner associations are tasked with setting rules and making sure homeowners within their jurisdiction adhere to them. This includes establishing appearance guidelines that help to keep property values high and head off neighbor disputes over things like how often lawns should be mowed.
While these regulations can be restrictive, they are usually designed to protect everyone’s rights in the community. For example, HOAs will likely not allow people to paint their homes anything other than a standard color. They will also have standards for how much clutter is displayed around a house.
If you’re considering a home in an HOA, request a copy of its governing documents and any conflict resolution policies. You can also ask about any past or pending lawsuits. This will give you an idea of how well the HOA functions as a hyper-local government. You can even volunteer to serve on a board to become extra familiar with how the association functions.
HOA fees can cover nearly anything the organization deems necessary for the community, including shared spaces and amenities, insurance, landscaping costs, trash service, inspections, and even water bills. However, homeowners should request a copy of the budget to see exactly how the association is spending its money, as this will reveal any areas where costs could be lowered.
Additionally, homeowner associations are tasked with making and upholding community regulations designed to protect property values. This often means appearance-oriented guidelines that uphold standards for how homes and yards should look.
Homeowners who become involved with their neighborhood’s board may be able to help make these decisions by volunteering for positions on committees within the community. This can be a great way to get to know your neighbors and also take part in making the community better.
An HOA is a non-profit corporation owned by the homeowners in a development and managed by elected Board members. It is bound by legal documents known as Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&R’s) which are recorded in the County Register of Deeds office and included with your title to property.
Those documents spell out the business and residential community aspects of your neighborhood, and impose rules that you must follow. They also dictate how your yard is maintained and what you can do with your home’s exterior.
As HOA management companies grow, they can outgrow their staff and need additional support. A professional management company may be able to save you time, money and hassle while providing the expert support your HOA needs.
Buying a Home in an HOA
As a prospective home buyer, you have a right to review and understand the HOA’s governing documents before agreeing to purchase the property. This will be part of your due diligence process, and you should ask your real estate agent for a copy of the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&R) or contact the HOA directly to request them.
CC&Rs can impact everything from whether you can put up a basketball hoop in your backyard to how much paint you can use on your house. They can also affect the amount of fines you can face if you don’t follow community rules.
You should also know if the association has debt or if there are special assessments coming up in the future that can impact your monthly cost of ownership. You can also ask about the amount of money in the reserve account, which is the HOA’s savings account to cover maintenance and unexpected repairs for shared amenities.