HOA living presents a strange kind of tension: You own your home and your property but the HOA still gets to call a lot of the shots, and at times to tell you what you can and cannot do. This ruffles the feathers of some homeowners, but really, there needn’t be any conflict: Through mutual understanding and communication, it is more than possible to live peaceably in an HOA community.
- Know why the HOA exists. Make sure you really understand what the Association is for—not just to boss people around, but rather to preserve and enhance property values throughout the community. The HOA works for you and your neighbors, and a well-functioning HOA is in everyone’s best interests.
- Understand the rules and regulations. Hopefully, your HOA is transparent in communicating the expectations with you. Make sure you have written copies of all the rules and regulations and that you review them thoroughly, preferably before you buy into an HOA community.
- Follow the procedures. Are you supposed to get approval from certain people before you install a new entry door or paint your fence? Then be proactive in doing so, and avoid any problems. Remember that HOA committees are made up of your fellow homeowners and they have the same interests as you—i.e., peaceful living in a value-protected community.
- Communicate with your neighbors. Be proactive in talking with your neighbors and establishing a positive relationship with them; this can mitigate the need to take problems to the HOA Board.
- Volunteer on the HOA Board. Nothing makes you feel a part of the community like actively serving it, and assisting your neighbors through HOA service.
- Attend HOA meetings. Hear what the Board is accomplishing, and where there are still needs. Speak up to attempt to change any rules or regulations that you dislike. Be part of the process—and thus, a part of making HOA life better for everyone!
By following these tips, you can help to ensure a more prosperous and peaceful HOA community for you and for all your neighbors!