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Thursday, March 03, 2016

Home Owner Associations and Your Lifestyle: Inevitable Conflict?

Homeowner associations are a bit like politicians - either you like them or you don't! 

Home buyer views of homeowner associations are as varied as the colors in a box of crayons.

Some want rules to make sure things stay pretty much the way the neighborhood looks today.  Some want the freedom to do as they please. 

Some want lots of amenities at a reasonable cost.  Some don't want to pay for amenities they will never use.

Still, in the Viera and Suntree areas of Brevard County you will find no escape from HOA rules.    Both of these areas are planned unit developments  consisting of many newer (and some older) developments with rules. 

Although not very frequent there are times when these rules become major roadblocks for prospective buyers.  It is not so much that the HOA rules exist but just some specific restrictions.  It is sometimes something so minor as not being allowed to have a pickup truck on your drive at night or having any commercial vehicle outside the garage (including a vehicle with a magnetic sign). 

The rules exist to promote uniformity and consistency in the homes such as restrictions on exterior paint colors, having a fence (or not), boat or RV parking,, etc.

I can understand the rules and the reasons they exist.   Likewise I understand buyers who do not want any rules.

When considering buying a home in Florida one of the documents you must be provided and given an opportunity to review is the HOA disclosure.   If I am the seller's agent I ensure I deliver a copy of the rules to the buyer's agent and get a signature.  If I am the buyer's agent I ensure they are delivered and signed for by my client.  

If you are the buyer review the documents.  These documents are written by lawyers.  If you have concerns have an attorney review them for you.  Don't accept the seller's  interpretation of what you can or can't do.

Know what you are getting into before proceeding  You know your lifestyle.  Will the restrictions became a major obstacle?    Do you see an inevitable conflict down the road?

Finally, HOA rules can change over time.  This is where involvement in your association and as an owner become very important.

Considering a home purchase in the Brevard County, Florida?   Please give me a call or text me at 321-693-3850 if I can help in any way.

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