You’ve found the perfect home, but there’s a catch: to move into the community, you have to join their HOA. While dealing with a community association might seem like a hassle, there are many benefits to living in an organized neighborhood. If you’re not sure how to take the plunge, consider these helpful tips.
Moving into an HOA—5 Tips
- Read the Governing Documents—the house may be perfect, but you also need to make sure that you can live with the rules that come along with it. Make sure you’re familiar with the rules of the community and get clarification on any issues that you’re confused about or might have issues with.
- Budget for the Fees—living in a neighborhood with a community association has many benefits, but it also comes at a cost. In order to avoid falling behind on the fees, factor into your budget whatever monthly, annual, or other fees and dues come with living in the neighborhood.
- Take Advantage of the Amenities—you’re paying for the community’s special features, so you might as well use them. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of the community spaces. Pick up whatever keys or passes you need for them as soon as possible so that you have them when you need them.
- Stay Informed—the best way to keep up to date with what’s going on in your HOA is to make the effort to know. Attend the meetings, get involved in the debates, and review the budgets. And, if you don’t like what you see, consider running in the next board election.
- Get Involved—an HOA isn’t just an extra expense; it’s a community. Attend the get-togethers and events so you can get to know your neighbors. And, if there aren’t any opportunities in the near future, organize your own neighborhood event. It’s a great way to become a part of the community, and to get familiar with the other people who make up the association.
Getting to Know the Neighborhood
While these are some great tips to getting started living in a community association, in time you will figure out even more helpful ways to make the most of your neighborhood just by living there. Every community is different, and so is every HOA. By getting to know the neighborhood as well as you can, you’ll learn how to make the most of your HOA and how to make being a part of it work for you.