"Does this neighborhood have an HOA?"
At Coldwell Banker Gosslee, our agents get asked this question ALL. THE. TIME.
It's important to learn about neighborhood HOA's, such as annual dues, community amenities, and restrictions when looking to buy a new home!
So...What is an HOA?
An HOA is an association that works to maintain and oversee the common areas of a neighborhood or property complex. It's fairly common to find them in neighborhoods with parks, tennis courts, swimming pools, gated access, and fitness centers.
Typically, the HOA is made up of neighborhood residents that volunteer to help maintain home values and the overall aesthetic. They even coordinate neighborhood events and review proposals that homeowners wish to make to their property.
Are There Rules?
The covenants and restrictions are different for every neighborhood. Most of them are made up to keep the overall appearance of the neighborhood cohesive. They have rules on where you can park your vehicles to what color you can paint your home, and everything in between.
When considering a home, it's a good idea to ask for a copy of the coventants and restrictions so that you can get a better idea of what is and is not allowed.
Which brings us to the main questions:
What are HOA Fees?
As much as those volunteers love the neighborhood, they definitely are not paying for the maintenance out of their own pockets!
The HOA requires annual dues. These dues are used for a number of things, including landscaping, cleaning of the grounds, maintaining the common areas, and repairing and upkeep of the roads, sidewalks, and street lighting.
How Much Do They Normally Costs?
Not all HOA's are created equally. Dues vary based on the size of the neighborhood and the amenities it provides.
A neighborhood with a guard, tennis courts, and multiple swimming pools is more likely to have a higher HOA than a neighborhood with just a park.
The fees can run anywhere from a couple of hundred and go all the way in the couple of thousand per year. They are not related by the age of the home and typically everyone in the neighborhood pays the same amount.
It's very important to pay your HOA dues on time. Depending on the bylaws, late fees could be tacked on to the bill and the HOA could place a lien on your property. Which you don't want to happen - Especially when it comes time to selling it)!
Are HOA Fees Mandatory?
YES. Which is why it is good to have your agent look into these fees before you make the big leap! While you may have budgeted for all of the other costs of owning a home, you want to make sure that the HOA fees are not above what you can/are willing to spend per month.
Some HOA's will allow the homeowners to pay monthly to help out, but that is something that you definitely want to check up on if you feel you would be unable to pay the dues in full.
When Do You Contact the HOA?
Contacting the HOA should be on the top of your list when you move into a new neighborhood. You want to get to know who is on your HOA committee, and also learn about upcoming neighborhood events! Who knows, you might decide you want to volunteer!
It is good to attend the neighborhood events so that you can get to know your neighbors and build relationships. Who doesn't love a good neighbor watching over your home while they are out of town or when you need to borrow some flour?!
Also, it's important to remember that the HOA committee members want what is best for your community, just like you! Every homeowner benefits from a well-care neighborhood.
To get started, just give one of our agent a call - They can get you all the HOA information you want!
Shreveport Office 318-861-2461
Bossier City Office 318-861-2461