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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Home Owner Associations: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly...

Many folks retiring to Florida want the freedom of no rules (and no snow) but the environment offered by a home owner association and its rules.  In these cases a choice must be made.

So what is the good?  Uniformity, consistent appearance. Perhaps community facilities like a pool, tennis, gated entry.

So what is so bad?  You are constrained by the rules and the organization.  There will be dues to pay.  The dues may increase later.  In the case of a condo there may also be special assessments later.  There will be procedures to that must be followed to make changes to your property (an architectural committee, for example).  If you lease your home out there may be a requirement for tenant approval by the association or a minimum lease period, etc.

And, finally, what is so ugly?   To some the ugly is what you have when you have few rules - the pink house, cars in the front yard, used appliances in the front yard, RVs parked in the street, etc.  I will admit these are extreme and for for illustration purposes.

Or, on the other hand, it could be the association itself.  Yes, I have seen some neighborhoods where the HOA officers were not so nice!

Home owner associations exist to protect property values and force consistency within the community where they are organized.  And the membership is composed of home owners.  I urge all buyers to get involved in their home owner association.

As for buying a home in the Brevard County, Florida areas of Suntree and Viera - expect home owner associations.  In most areas of Brevard County with newer subdivisions an HOA will generally be the norm.

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