What Is a Homeowners Association (HOA)?
What is a homeowners association (HOA)? Here is everything you need to know about living in a neighborhood with a homeowners association.
When you hear the term homeowners’ association (HOA), what do you think? It’s often disheartening to hear people associate the term with “rules” and “regulations.”
Yes, those two exist, but what’s the purpose for them? Their purpose is to create a community that can only be described as something out of a Hollywood film.
When you come upon a community with an HOA that takes their job seriously, you’ll find that the lawns are manicured; the entrances boast bright signage and elegant flowerbeds; the community feels safe and secure, whether it’s nestled into the mountains of Colorado or the shorelines of Miami.
It’s a homeowner’s nightmare to sink their life savings into a house that’s bordered by a hoarder who trashes the entire community feel. If you like to take pride in your ownership, then an HOA may be right for you.
Let’s take a closer look at what it is, what it accomplishes for its community, and how it differs from a property management company.
What Is An HOA?
An HOA is an organization that oversees the common interests of a community of people. Homeowners collectively pay a fee to maintain the individual units and/or the entire neighborhood.
An HOA may oversee individual units if it’s an apartment complex or condominium development. Conversely, it may only serve the development and not the individual units. Or, it may oversee the entire neighborhood, including the individual units and the property.
Typically, the residents elect a board of directors that ensures the interests of the community are being served. You can often tell the difference between communities with a great HOA and communities with either a lack-luster HOA or none at all.
Those with a sound HOA will have well-manicured premises. There won’t be any trash lying around. The houses will appear well-kept and maintain a level of uniformity.
When individuals and families move into a community with an HOA, they agree to abide by a governing set of rules or bylaws. They also pay a monthly fee that will achieve that well-manicured look.
Here are some things a good HOA will do for its community:
- Work behind the scenes to prepare and present annual budgets.
- Coordinate special projects.
- Screen and hire the right landscaping/irrigation companies.
- Manage pool maintenance.
- Oversee pest and weed control.
- Coordinate snow and trash removal.
- Offer a 24-hour emergency maintenance service.
HOA vs. Property Management Company
An HOA is, by its very definition, an association for homeowners. A property management company, however, tends to manage a property with rental units.
A property management company will still tend to the overall maintenance of the property. But, they’re typically doing it at the behest of the corporate entity or private individual who owns the complex.
You may see properties out there that have both an HOA and a property management company. In this instance, the property management company serves the HOA.
Property management companies will often step in to help the HOA carry out many of the tasks listed above. They may source the best contractors if the condominium development needs a new roof.
The property management company may also be the “face” of the HOA when it comes to collecting fees and handling emergency situations.
So, while the two can work in tandem, the HOA remains the governing force that outlines the bylaws and ensures compliance. The property management company is, in a way, the enforcer of said bylaws.
Benefits of an HOA
Again, when people hear the phrase HOA, they often associate it with rules and regulations. But, isn’t that how living in a community maintains civility and order?
“Rules” are hardly ever a bad thing. Parents make rules to ensure the safety of their children. HOAs have rules to make community living more amenable.
Here are the benefits of living in a residential community governed by an HOA:
- Your property value should continue to increase because it remained well-maintained throughout the years.
- Your amenities, e.g., pool, gym, dog park, and clubhouse, should also remain in tip-top shape, making them a joy to use year-round.
- There may be social events at the clubhouse that will be enjoyable to attend and get you out and about in your community.
- Property-related issues that fall under the HOAs jurisdiction, i.e., unkempt yards, property line disputes, loud neighbors, or barking dogs, can be mediated by the HOA (which is always far more productive than fighting amongst yourselves).
There can be some serious consequences for those who do not abide by their HOA bylaws. Residents can be fined and even have a lien put on their house if they don’t pay their dues or seriously violate any of the bylaws.
But, if you’re taking pride in the outward appearance of your home, there shouldn’t be a cause for a fine or a fee. The pros of leaving room in your budget for a standard of neighborhood living that’s high will leave you feeling well-settled and cared for.
In summary, a good HOA company will make everyone’s life easier.
Homeowners’ Association (HOA)
And there you have it. We hope this outline of a homeowners’ association (HOA) has settled things for you. When you make the ultimate investment in a house, an HOA can be there by your side to protect your investment.
They can make the difference between driving onto a property with dead shrubbery, faded paint, dilapidated signage, and trash everywhere vs. a property with bright flowers dotting the roadways, power-washed signage, and well-kept homes that stand tall with pride.
If you’re interested in organized living high atop the Colorado Rockies, we invite you to come on over and check out our properties. You’ll quickly see what life in a well-managed HOA looks like.
Here at Alpine Edge, we offer vacation rental homes that are superbly managed, offering the ultimate Breckenridge vacation experience. Each rental home has its own unique charm that lends to the town’s unique voice.
We make it our mission to make sure you’ll never want to leave. When you’re ready to book, be sure to take advantage of any existing promotions and discounts before you book. We look forward to serving you!