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Tips when moving into an HOA community

So you’ve finally made the decision to purchase your dream home. It’s a great house, in ideal location, but it’s also a community in an HOA or home owners association.  So what now? Well we wanted to help out those new owners that have never lived in a community association before. We compiled a list of 10 essential tips for anyone moving into an HOA community

Read Governing Documents (Declaration, Bylaws, Rules, etc)

imagesCAW7TB4LThis might seem like a pretty obvious one for some, but believe me, very few people actually read their documents thoroughly when moving into a community association. I know it’s not very sexy reading material, but it is very important to familiarize yourself with your community’s governing documents. Understanding all the community’s rules, policies and procedures, well make from a much more enjoyable  HOA community living experience because you will then understand the role of the association and expectations of its homeowner members.

Know how to contact HOA / Management Company

Whether you are a self-managed community or enjoy the assistance of a full time management company, you need to know how to contact the proper people concerning your community.  If you have any questions, need proof of community insurance, statement of account, have a work order request, you know who and how to contact them.

View your HOA budget

One thing people ask us all the time is “Where did my money go?”  The easiest way to answer that question is to understand your HOA community’s budget.  This will break down all of the expenses, and services that your HOA community provides. If you never received one upon moving into the community, be sure to request one from either your management company or the board of directors as you are entitled as an owner to your community’s financial information.

HOA_Community_TexasAttend Annual Meeting

Attending your annual meeting is the best way to understand the pulse of your community learn about the latest projects and potential issues facing the community. It’s only a few hours every year with your fellow neighbors. While there, you can brought up to speed on the current financial situation of your association, which certainly very important, especially when you live in a condo association

Attend a community Social Event

Almost all HOA’s have some kind of social or community gathering event for its owners and residents.  It’s a great way to meet your neighbors and start to really form a sense of “community” amongst your fellow homeowners. Come on. Join the rest of the community during the next wine tasting or charitable event

Budget for HOA Assessments

Now that you live in your HOA community, you must plan for adjust your personal budget accordingly.  Your community depends on those Annual, Quarterly, or Monthly assessments to properly care for maintain your community.  Don’t waste any of your hard-earned money on late fees or penalties because of your HOA assessments.

Sign up Bill pay / Auto draft for your assessment

Help yourself budget for your community assessments but signing up for automatic bill pay with your bank or sign up for automatic draft with your HOA management company to insure that your get your assessments paid and on time every time.  Keep your amenity center keys activated

Living in an HOA community can be a great place to live, work, and raise a family.  Home owners associations have some significant advantages over communities that do no have a community association to help their property values.  Using these tips, you will be further educated and informed about your HOA community.

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