Planning to buy a home in Albuquerque includes a lot of factors to consider, one of which being home owner’s associations. You no doubt have heard about HOAs, or perhaps have already lived in one. If the home you’re interested in is located in an HOA, you should weigh the pros and cons of owning a home in an HOA community. They have their up sides and down sides. Let’s consider those and answer some basic questions.
What is an HOA?
A number of gated communities and planned communities in Albuquerque have an HOA, which is a governing body that sets rules for how the community will function. There is a board of directors and the HOA is funded and operated by residents.
HOAs have meetings, create budgets, and are responsible for enforcing regulations and rules. The rules set by an HOA are legally enforceable, which answer the question of how they can enforce the rules they set.
An HOA that is run well can improve property values, as they make sure the community maintains a standard of appearance for the homes in the community. Conversely, a poorly run HOA can be expensive and repel new home buyers who don’t want to deal with a bad HOA.
HOA members usually pay monthly, quarterly, or yearly dues that go toward keeping up common areas like clubhouses, pools, walkways, and lighting. These fees can vary as much as between $50 to thousands of dollars a month, depending on the location.
How Do the Rules of an HOA Work?
Rules for HOA are usually known as conditions and restrictions, or covenants. It would be a good idea to get to know the rules of an HOA community before you buy a home there. If you don’t, you could regret your decision later, finding the rules too restrictive.
The majority of HOA rules are going to be related to the exterior of a home. These rules may dictate how you maintain your lawn, or what colors you can paint your home. There are benefits and down sides of such rules. They may keep your community looking clean and upkept. On the other hand, it may tie your hands if the rules go against your personal taste.
What happens when you don’t follow the rules? Most HOAs will follow an escalation procedure that will first ask you to comply. If you don’t comply, then they may impose a fine. If the matter goes further, they may take legal action against you.
Also keep in mind that if you refuse to pay HOA fees, they can put a lien on your home or even force you into foreclosure.
What to Find Out About an HOA Before Buying
If you’re looking at a home for sale in Albuquerque with an HOA, here are a few things to find out or ask your real estate agent to find out for you:
• Ask if you can attend an HOA meeting, or if that’s not possible, request a copy of the most recent minutes. This will give you a feel for the behavior of the board members and whether their top priority is resident well-being.
• Your HOA should be in good financial standing. Otherwise, you may be hit with an unexpected assessment that you have to pay if work needs to be done in the community.
• Are there are a lot of issues between the board and homeowners?
• You’ll have to consider how well the HOA’s rules will fit with your lifestyle and if you’re comfortable with that kind of control being exercised over your home and living environment.
• Go over, in detail, what HOA fees will include.
When deciding if an HOA community is right for you and how their rules will affect you, you should also think about the future and how it will affect the resale value of your home. But also keep in mind that HOAs can change over time depending on the board members. There are a lot of buyers who simply don’t want an HOA, and if you do want to sell your home, your pool of buyers may be limited.
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