What Is a Homeowners Association?
It is estimated that a quarter of Americans live in the 347,000 HOAs across the country, but many have little understanding of what an HOA actually is and does.
So, what is HOA? Simply put, HOA means homeowners association, a legal entity comprised of the property owners in a planned development. The purpose of an HOA is to oversee any shared property such as common areas and amenities and to maintain the value of the homes in the community by enforcing a variety of guidelines. HOAs are usually incorporated by the developer before any of the lots are sold, and then turned over to the homeowners when most or all of the lots have been sold. From that point, a volunteer board of directors is responsible for the management of the community.
HOA Board Responsibilities
The board of directors of a homeowners association consists of volunteer homeowners from within the community, elected by their neighbors to oversee the management of the community. They are ultimately responsible for abiding by and enforcing the community’s covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) and bylaws.
The CC&Rs establish guidelines for most aspects of the neighborhood and also gives the board of directors the power to issue violations to homeowners who are not in compliance. Guidelines may include standards for storm doors and exterior paint colors, leasing properties, and parking. However, no matter how restrictive these guidelines seem, they were written with the interests of the neighborhood in mind. By keeping the community well-kept, homes retain their value and people will want to live there.
The Purpose of HOA Dues
HOA membership is a requirement of purchasing a home within its boundaries. By buying into the neighborhood the new owner agrees to abide by the requirements of the CC&Rs and pay dues to the association.
These dues go to the coverage of many different things, including maintenance of the common elements of the association. Common elements can include entrance signs, recreational facilities, playgrounds, and simple open space. Dues also pay the association’s insurance, legal, and often accounting and HOA management fees. In condominium and townhome associations, dues will also go towards the maintenance of the residential buildings. The amount of maintenance to be performed by the HOA varies from association to association but is always defined in the community CC&Rs.
Benefits of Living in a Homeowners Association
A homeowners association boasts many advantages, including but not limited to the following:
- Maintain Property Values. Homeowners naturally want to protect their investment and, hopefully, get a sizable return once they decide to sell their home. The presence of a homeowners association ensures that property values remain high by boosting curb appeal in the neighborhood.
- Access to Amenities. Living in a homeowners association allows residents to enjoy a plethora of amenities. Not all associations have the same amenities to offer, but a vast majority come with community pools, clubhouses, and fitness centers. In exchange for regular assessments, homeowners can utilize these amenities at no added cost.
- Convenient Services. Homeowners associations typically provide residents with handy services such as garbage collection, snow removal, landscaping, and security. This is all in an effort to achieve the association’s objective of increasing curb appeal thereby maintaining property values.
Professional Homeowners Association Management
Because managing an HOA can be a time-consuming and difficult task, many boards of directors hire a professional management company to assist. Property managers work together with the board, handling the day-to-day responsibilities of the community, though the board retains the power to make all of the decisions. This partnership, along with the partnership of the board and the homeowners, creates a harmonious association.
Elite Management Services has years of experience helping homeowners associations with daily operations. We have a team of highly capable experts such as a Senior Certified Community Manager and maintenance coordinators ready to assist community associations of all shapes and sizes. Here at Elite, we understand that community association management is no easy task. We take the job seriously, using proven management practices and cost-effective strategies to elevate the associations we work with.
Our management solutions encompass a variety of areas, including accounting and financial reporting, maintenance and violations, reserve planning, and value-added services. We also organize training sessions for board members and offer legal assistance to our clients.
Trust in Elite Management Services to help you achieve your short- and long-term goals. We have the necessary resources and expertise needed for effective HOA management. Reach out to us today by calling (855) 238-8488 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also request a free proposal here.