If you’ve been considering a move and believe that an HOA community is a good option, you’re not alone. In fact, at this time, there are more than 358,000 homeowners living in an HOA and most homebuyers are considering this option.
If you’re considering moving into an HOA community in or near Lexington, South Carolina, contact the Lafayette Team with EXP Realty. We have the knowledge and expertise to help you find the perfect home. We specialize in working with first-time homebuyers and sellers. We look forward to working with you.
In this article, we’ll explain what you can expect when you move into an HOA community.
HOA Community Defined
An HOA community is a private community where homeowners pay a monthly or yearly fee to access certain services and amenities. In addition, there are certain rules and regulations in place that keep the community nice and protect property values.
In recent years, HOA communities have increased in popularity. In fact, as of 2021, there were 358,000 community associations in the USA, with 63% of those being HOAs, and most of the rest were condo associations.
As a general rule, people both love and hate their HOAs. While they can be strict and sometimes hard to deal with- they also offer a safe, clean community for residents and encourage community involvement. Below, we’ll explore some of the things you should be aware of when moving into an HOA community.
7 Things to Expect
There are 7 things that you need to be aware of when you move to an HOA community, including:
You must follow the rules explicitly
In order to live in an HOA community, you must sign a covenant agreement that outlines particular rules and regulations. This is a requirement for moving into the community and you must abide by the covenant at all times.
The exact rules vary based on the particular community, but there are certain areas that are common, including:
- Appearance and upkeep of home
- Occupancy limits
- Pet policies
- Parking policies/restrictions
- Noise restrictions
If you break any of the covenants, you may be required to pay fines or you may lose the privilege of using the amenities.
You must pay fees
When living in an HOA community, you must pay monthly dues in addition to your mortgage and other expenses. Fees are based on the cost of living in the area and can vary based on the number of homes in the community and the amenities.
You may be required to attend meetings
Typically, HOAs hold monthly meetings- but may have them more or less often based on the community initiatives that are underway and the time of year. This is a great time to get updates and news about the community as well as express your opinions.
HOAs must invite all residents to these meetings, making sure to provide them with all of the pertinent details including time and location. Depending on the regulations of the HOA, you may be required to attend a certain number of meetings each year. In some HOAs, a certain percentage of residents must be present in order for the meeting to be held.
You must maintain your property
One of the reasons that HOA communities are so attractive is the fact that the exterior appearance/curb appeal standards in HOA communities are high. Therefore, you will be required to keep your property looking nice and stay on top of minor wear-and-tear issues. Some HOAs offer services in relation to this, such as exterior power washing, snow removal, and landscaping.
If you do not do your part in maintaining your property, you will be held accountable.
You will have access to the amenities of the community
HOA communities offer amenities, such as common green spaces, pools, recreational facilities, clubhouses, playgrounds fitness centers, and more. This is one of the things your fees pay for and one of the reasons that living in an HOA is so desirable. When you are considering moving into an HOA community, take time to review the amenities and choose a community that fits your lifestyle.
You can attend social events and network with other residents
Most HOA communities offer social events to keep residents engaged. These events include movie nights, picnics, holiday parties, and more. In addition, they usually offer clubs (book club, chess club, etc) and may even offer classes such as painting, yoga, knitting/crochet, and more. Therefore, if you want to live in a community that offers opportunities to get to know your neighbors, an HOA might be worth considering.
HOA communities have your best interests in mind
Finally, while many people see HOA covenants as restrictive, they have your best interests in mind. According to a recent Homeowner Satisfaction Survey, approximately 89% of HOA residents believe their HOA is neutral or better and 67% believe that it is good to very good. In addition, 87% have a good relationship with their HOA board and believe that they are there to serve the best interests of the community.
Considering Moving to an HOA Community?
If you are planning a move to Lexington any time soon and believe that HOA life is for you, contact the realtors at the Lafayette Team with EXP Realty. We specialize in working with first-time homebuyers and sellers and have the experience and expertise to help you find your dream home.
HOA communities do require that you pay dues and sign a covenant- but the benefits that come with living in these communities make it worthwhile.