Did you know that around 25% of Americans live in community associations? That is more than 70 million people. And for the large majority of them, it is a very positive experience, and they feel as though their property value is enhanced by being part of an HOA. Furthermore, the number of communities continues to grow every year, meaning even more Americans may find themselves living under the oversight of these associations.
If you’re someone who is new to HOA living, or is looking to move and wondering if you should consider an HOA community or not, here is a closer look at what it means to be part of an homeowners association:
You are part of a community. Your neighborhood operates as its own little town, and the decisions one person makes can affect many others, good or bad. It’s a wonderful opportunity to build friendships with neighbors and other homeowners because you’re all working together to improve your community.
You agree to follow the rules. HOAs are governed by a variety of rules, and by buying a home in the neighborhood, you are bound by these standards. Make sure you review the basic “dos and don’ts” and know what the governing documents say about paint colors, mailboxes, fences, sheds, outdoor décor, and more. Ensure that these are rules that you can live with.
You are held to the same rules and expectations as everyone else. Just because you are new to the neighborhood, know someone on the board, or are a business CEO doesn’t mean you can skirt around the rules. Part of maintaining an ethical practice is fair and consistent enforcement of rules. Exceptions should be few and far between.
You have a right to have your voice heard. As a paying member of the association, your opinion matters. If there are issues you are concerned about or changes you’d like to see, it is your right to bring these matters up to the board. However, this should be done in a respectful manner and according to proper policies and procedures. You may be asked to put your thoughts in writing ahead of time so the board can review. Many changes take place because of the initiative of homeowners.
You have access to a variety of amenities. Your annual dues allow you to enjoy the community pool, tennis courts, clubhouse, gym, business center, and any other facilities your neighborhood may offer. You can use them as much or as little as you want, so it’s certainly possible to get your money’s worth, and you know the HOA will keep them well maintained. This can be much more affordable and less work than installing a pool in your own backyard or joining the rec center.
You have the opportunity to be a leader. HOAs are run by homeowners just like you. They are all volunteer positions, so if you want to play a larger role in the decision making for your community, you can run for a seat on the board. Or, you can volunteer as part of a committee that fits with your skills and interests. It’s a great chance to give back and know you’re working in the best interest of all of your neighbors.
Plus, you don’t have to go it alone. Kuester supports HOAs in operating more effectively, communicating with homeowners, resolving problems, and creating a more peaceable living environment. Contact us today to find out how we can help, and why we’re so passionate about helping community associations.