Tips for First-Time HOA Members

You’ve found the home of your dreams and are ready to settle down in your first HOA community. This can be a very exciting time as you take this next step in your life. Living in an HOA community, you have the benefit of knowing the neighborhood will be well taken care of and you’ll have access to some great amenities. As you settle into your new home, here are few things to consider:

  • Get to know the community

This is your new home, so take time to explore. Walk the streets and see where they lead. Figure out how to get to the clubhouse, pool, playground, basketball courts, and any other amenities that are available. Ask if there is anything else you should know about being an HOA member or living in the neighborhood. There may be perks you hadn’t even realized.

  • Meet your neighbors

Introduce yourself to the neighbors who live nearby. You never know who will have kids your children can play with, who also loves to grill out, and who you’ll find you hit it off really well with. Plus, creating positive relationships from the start can work to your benefit. Also attend HOA events and meetings to get to know others that live in the neighborhood but not necessarily right near you. You’ll also learn more about ways you can get involved in the community.

  • Read up on the rules

Familiarize yourself with the governing documents so you know what is and is not permissible.  If you were considering making any changes to your new home, check out the rules and whether you need any approvals. Figure out how to go about making requests and who you need to talk to or where to find the appropriate forms.

  • Budget accordingly

Don’t forget to factor HOA fees into your monthly budget. Whether you pay monthly, quarterly, or yearly, make sure you’re setting aside funds so you don’t fall behind. It can also be a good idea to have some additional set aside just in case there is a special assessment in the future. Though HOA fees can be a pain, just remember everything you’re getting out of it and make use of the amenities since you’re paying for them.

  • Ask questions

If there’s something you don’t understand or an answer you’re unclear of from looking through your documents, ask! It’s better to talk to someone who knows than to take a guess that could be wrong. Don’t be afraid to speak up at HOA meetings as well. The board appreciates feedback – just make sure it’s constructive.

Living in an HOA community can be a wonderful environment and provide you with everything you were looking for in a home and neighborhood. Do your part to be a responsible and engaged homeowner and support the efforts of the board and property manager. When everyone works together, it creates a more enjoyable community for all. Learn more about how Kuester supports HOAs in operating more effectively and efficiently.

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Bryan Kuester

Bryan Kuester

Bryan is the CEO of Kuester Management Group. He has over 15 years of managing community associations throughout North and South Carolina.

His specialties include Community Association Management - maintenance, budgeting for operational and reserve funding, long-range planning, covenant enforcement, amenity management, onsite management, large scale management.