Buying a new house comes with responsibilities. If you just purchased a new townhouse, condo, or apartment with shared amenities such as a pool, parking lot, sidewalks, or security gates-these, are probably managed by a Homeowners Association popularly known as HOA. It is estimated that about 25% of Americans are members of an HOA in their neighborhoods.
There may be slight variations of HOA rules and requirements as the rules are created by members and vary from state to state. If you are scouting for a house that is part of a Homeowners association San Antonio, you need to be aware of the requirements such as monthly charges before you seal the deal. The city of San Antonio also maintains a registry of all homeowner’s associations. In this blog, we share all you need to know about homeowners association in San Antonio.
HOA fees differ depending on your location and amenities. A gated community with a golf course and manned gate will likely have higher fees than a townhouse with a few shared facilities. Even within a development such as a flat, fees may vary depending on square footage, location such as a penthouse, and orientation. Some apartments charge the same fees across the board. For instance, if the elevator breaks down, the cost of repairs will be divided amongst all households irrespective of where you live. You may be on the first floor but will still cough up an equal amount as those on the penthouse.
Still on fees, it is vital to find out how HOA fees have increased over the years. Get a record of HOA records over the last ten years to get a picture of the situation. You should examine their projections of fees in the next five years as these are mapped out depending on such factors as labor costs, inflation, and so on. Funds levied for maintenance and repairs may be outside of your monthly contributions. In some cases, they can be drawn from the monthly charges.
Fees could also include insurance costs of all common areas. Check with the HOA as well as the state law to confirm if your community HOA is complying with all the legal requirements.
Most HOAs have a board of representatives who are mostly elected by members. These boards will coordinate all meetings and update the members regularly if there are any changes or rules. Other than coordinating activities, the board also enforces regulations and restrictions that have been agreed upon by the members. Members formulate the rules and limitations, and some are in accordance with city laws.
Rules and restrictions vary significantly. Some have laws restricting the types of pets you can keep, the paint color, and even how long your grass can grow. This is not to say that HOAs will meddle in your affairs; some simply require their neighborhoods to maintain a certain aesthetic.
It is said that rules exist to be broken. Some folks take this saying a little too seriously and end up breaking laws from time to time. Before buying a home in a community with HOA rules, find out how rules are enforced and what penalties are placed on those who break the rules. Some rules are so strict to a point where you can be sued or a lien placed on your home for breaking the law or failing to pay HOA fees. Always check if there are any conflicts that ended up in a lawsuit then find out the details about the lawsuit or lawsuits the HOA is involved in.
HOAs are some form of mini-government that you will be a part of. Some people find them to be a blessing while to others keeping up with HOA rules and restrictions can be suffocating. Bottom-line is, ensure you are comfortable with the HOA in the community you are moving into.