Something you may not have even considered when building a new custom home is the impact that a homeowners association (HOA) can have on your build. Now, if you are building the home on a private plot that is not part of a community, this will not even be an issue. However, if you are in a community that is presided over by an HOA, you are going to want to dig into the HOA a bit deeper before closing on the land, let alone start drawing up designs for the new home.
What Is an HOA?
Generally speaking, these are often in place in condominium communities where the owners of the property do not actually own the land, however, that is not always the case. We are seeing more and more communities where an HOA is in place to ensure community standards so one house or several houses do not negatively impact the value of other homes in the community.
In cases such as the aforementioned, there are usually shared facilities that everyone in the community can take part in, such as a community center, park, pool, golf course, etc. The HOA may also be responsible for other things, such as trash removal, roads, common areas, etc.
This is generally a small committee that is elected by the homeowners in the community. They will serve in various roles, such as the president and vice president. The HOA will establish a budget and determine how that money will be spent in the community. The budget, of course, comes from fees that are paid by all homeowners in that community.
Every HOA has a charter and generally holds meetings that all members can attend to discuss and vote on different proposals.
How Does an HOA Impact Me as a Homeowner?
The biggest challenges you will have regarding an HOA is the external part of your property. For instance, they may require certain flowers or lawn care maintenance. It could go down to very specific items, such as the colors of fencing or flags that can be put up outside the home. If you decide to put a pool in, you may have to get approval.
If you have a home where you split time and decide you want to AirBNB your home or use it as a rental, the community may have guidelines in place for such activity.
So, as you can see, an HOA can have fairly broad power over what you can and cannot do on your own property, so, if you are building in a community, we highly recommend you spend some time researching the HOA and its guidelines before ever deciding on your purchase. Once you are in, there is not much you can do about the rules other than to follow them until changes can be made.