Tuesday, January 16, 2007

HOA – What You Need To Know Before You Purchase

What is an HOA? HOA stands for Home Owners Association. Here is an example of a home owners association: When you buy a new home you think to yourself “Wow, this home would look great in Forest Green.” If the neighborhood that you are planning to buy into has an HOA, you may not have the right to paint your house any color you like.

You need to know what the HOA rules are before you buy a home. An HOA can decide where you can park, the color of your house, if you can put a porch on your home and possibly even the kind of pets you can own. Many people don’t look into a HOA until they have already purchased. This is like buying a car and checking out the fine print in the contract after you have parked in the driveway. You can’t back out!

When you go to sell your home and you have a strict HOA or an HOA with really high fees, it can actually lower the value of your home. If two homes are exact in every way and one has an HOA due of $110 a month and the other home doesn’t have an HOA at all, the one with no HOA will sell faster and for more money, just for the freedom of choice.

So the phrase “buyer beware” really does apply when it comes to shopping for homes with an HOA. For more information on Home Owners Associations please feel free to e-mail me or call me anytime.

Todd Clark – broker
Kastings & Associates