Homeowner’s Associations – There are various options available when looking to buy a home.
We looked at condos vs freehold properties last week, But what about a freehold home with a homeowner’s associations? A homeowner’s associations may appear to be very similar to a condo in many cases, but this is not the case. Before buying a home with a homeowner’s associations, it is essential to understand these differences.
Differences Between a Condo and Homeowner’s Association
When you buy a condo, you are buying your unit as well as a share of the common element (s). These may include green spaces, amenities, private roads, or services that are shared by all condo owners. When it comes to a homeowner’s association, Those common elements are owned by a third party, and your monthly homeowner’s association fees cover their upkeep and allow you to use them. You own your home and property in a homeowner’s association, but you pay to use the common elements. Payment for these common elements is usually not optional, so it is important to consider the cost and whether or not you will use them.
Homeowner’s Association Fees
Homeowner’s association fees, like condo fees, can differ greatly depending on the amenities. They are charged on a monthly basis and can be used to cover anything from a parking lot or green space to an amenity such as a pool, golf course, or tennis court. The higher the homeowner’s association fee, the more that is offered.
A homeowner’s association, like a condo, may impose restrictions or bylaws. These restrictions can include exterior changes, pets, or even people (some homeowner’s associations will not allow children to stay for extended periods of time if the community is geared toward adult living). These restrictions can be severe, so make sure the homeowner’s association bylaws suit your lifestyle.
Perks of Buying a Home in a Home Owner’s Association
- Amenities – Some homeowner associations provide excellent amenities.
- Ongoing Maintenance – Depending on what your homeowner’s association covers, this could imply that certain aspects of your property or the property surrounding your home are maintained. This can include things like snow removal and landscaping.
Before You Buy
As a buyer, you will be required to sign a “Joint Use Agreement,” which you should carefully review to ensure that you fully understand the details of the homeowner’s association. By signing this agreement, you agree to pay all monthly fees and follow any bylaws that have been established.
Working with a Realtor is essential in all real estate transactions. A Realtor will be able to guide you through the decision-making process so that you understand exactly what you are purchasing.
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