How to Get Along with Your HOA

by Del Fava | Parker 01/19/2020

Photo by Romakoma via Shutterstock

Many modern housing developments share areas such as parks, pools and playgrounds. When this is the case, they need a homeowner’s association to tend to the needs of the common areas. The same is true for condominium complexes and townhome communities. Since hallways, elevators and the outsides of buildings require shared maintenance, the HOA’s purpose is clear, and membership means protection for home values.

But some neighborhoods have associations that do not maintain jointly-owned areas. Instead, they exist purportedly to keep the neighborhood’s appeal. Often, these groups set strict rules on paint colors, the length grass can grow, whether you can have lawn ornaments and various other personal taste decisions that might make your life there more complicated. They police the number of vehicles in your driveway and how quickly you put away your trash containers after pickup.

These rules can benefit owners by making certain one property’s neglect doesn’t reflect poorly on the other properties nearby.

Know before You Go

When you purchase a home in a community with a homeowner’s association, request a copy of the CC&Rs (Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions) before you make an offer or with a contingency that you can back out if the rules are too onerous.

If you decide to purchase in an HOA neighborhood, realize that you’re giving up some of your freedoms in exchange for rules meant to enhance the quality of life in your community.

Get Involved

The best way to coexist with community life is to get involved. Attend the meetings, offer to be on a committee or run for office. Sometimes, due to lack of a quorum, the leadership rules by fiat, so try to get other neighbors involved too. Offer to host a social event so that neighbors can meet and get to know one another. It’s harder to impose harsh rules on people you know and see frequently.

If you don’t understand a rule, open a dialog. Perhaps you’ll discover there is a history behind the rule that gives it more validity.

Always make your requests in writing too, so that you can back up claims for a quick response to HOA action against you.

When the home you want is in an HOA-controlled community, do your best to become part of the influencers rather than a detractor. That way, if someone proposes a petty rule that you believe isn’t helpful, you’ll be able to have your say.

Let your real estate agent know how you feel about living in an HOA neighborhood. If you’re unsure, ask your agent to find out how the HOA functions and what the other members think about it. 

About the Author
Author

Del Fava | Parker

  

Doug was born and raised in Sonoma County with over 40 years in the real estate business; a well-connected, down-to-earth “people” person; devotes a great deal of time to working with both buyers and sellers in person.

Shannon has many years in business organization and administration; with over 15 years in the real estate industry; strength is in marketing properties and follow-up; devotes a great deal of time to the “behind the scenes” logistic work.

As a team we represent two strong elements of personal contact and business effectiveness. We have perfected aggressive networking and marketing systems which attract clients locally, nationally and throughout the world. These elements are expected by consumers in today’s fast-paced, high tech, and competitive marketplace.

We have successfully represented buyers and sellers of luxury estate, ranch, vineyards, investment, commercial and residential properties throughout Sonoma, Napa, and Marin counties for over forty years. We have invested time and money to establish a long-term position in the real estate industry; emphasizing an honest, hard-working, straightforward business approach. We have developed a system of working together that offers our clients comprehensive and personalized service along with negotiating techniques that consistently result in a win/win situation for everyone.

Consistently recognized as industry leaders, we passionately believe that contributing time and expertise to the community has enhanced their continued success and recognition as experts within the real estate community.

At W Real Estate, our clients and their goals are our first priority, without compromise. Whether buying or selling, our network is far reaching, and we ensure each and every client is completely satisfied. This is our commitment to you and our community.

We not only work here, we live and play here. We are proud of our community, and we know it like no other--the people, the locations, what sets them apart. And this is what sets us apart.

W Real Estate is Sonoma County's top real estate brokerage, year after year. Our agents consistently rank in the top 1% of all agents in Sonoma County, and sell properties at a higher value than our competitors. When you hire a W Real Estate agent, you hire a team of exceptional real estate professionals. Not only will you receive the best real estate advice and outcome with your chose agent, but you will also benefit from a full-time marketing expert, a dedicated listing manager to coordinate the logistics of prepping and showing your home, and a highly skilled transaction coordinator to manage the complicated paperwork, just to name a few. We're here for you - all of us.