Jeff’s Carlsbad Blog for First Time Home Buyers

Things to Know About HOAs

Posted in Homeownership,Neighborhoods,What do I Buy? by Jeff Dowler on March 3, 2008
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As a new home buyer, especially here in Carlsbad and other nearby communities, HOAs are a way of life. And they can, in some neighborhoods, have a significant impact on your lifestyle there. So there are some things to know.

shaking-hands.gifHOAs are generally responsible for the care and maintenance of the community – the grounds, buildings, parking, swimming pools, etc. They take care of paying the bills, such as the master insurance if there is such a thing (common in condo communities), arranging for care and maintenance providers, and so on. And they are responsible for preserving the way of life that has been established, and the appearance of the neighborhood.

But they also oversee the rules, regulations and by laws that have been approved, and which dictate what can and cannot be done in the community. Some rules are very strict and others are fairly loose.

  • Some times parking is not allowed on the street, or
  • RVs must be parked outside the community in a designated area
  • You may need permission to make certain improvements on your home, or may not even be able to choose a different exterior paint color, or install a new style of window without approval of a committee, or perhaps not at all
  • They may dictate how late you can host outdoor parties, how many guest parking spots you may use, and much more.

Understanding the rules and regulations beforehand is essential so you can decide if you are willing to live with the requirements of that community. In most cases they are fairly unobtrusive, but be sure to obtain copies of the By Laws and other rules so you know what you are dealing with.

thumbs-down.gifYou will also want to review the minutes from the HOA meetings. This will give you an idea of the sorts of things that are discussed, the concerns folks have, any on-going issues that could influence your decision to buy, and much more. And certainly if you have questions that arise during the due diligence process you should talk to someone who is a member of the HOA or perhaps the president.

People, in general I think, want to live in harmony with each other, and you should understand how that happens in the HOA where you are purchasing your new home.


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