A Guide to Homeowner Associations

Depending on where you purchase a home, you may buy in an area that has a homeowner's association.  These associations are formed to improve and maintain the quality of the area by enforcing mutually agreed upon regulations that affect residents within the community as well as such community-owned pieces of property as ponds, pools, greenbelts, walkways and roads.

Managed by an elected board of volunteers, the association often oversees exterior structures, roofing and other building components.  Services provided by the organization may include lawn care and driveway maintenance. 

When you buy a home in an association-managed development, you're subject to its written bylaws.  You're also obligated to pay a fee, which is determined by the association and typically paid monthly.  As a homeowner, you will likely be encouraged to attend the meetings during which policies and issues will be decided, and you will be allowed to vote on amendments to the bylaws.  In most cases, you may also attend board meetings to address a particular issue if arrangements are made in advance.

It's wise to request a copy of the bylaws before purchasing a home in such a community, and read them carefully.

  • August 31 2012 - Fremont
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