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What you should know about HOA’s before purchasing real estate

A HOA stands for Homeowner’s Association, the purpose of which is generally to maintain the community property values. To this end, HOA management in Phoenix and elsewhere create certain guidelines and rules that you must follow if you purchase residential property within their stated grounds. More often than not, they require HOA fees of you, which help to fund certain advantages they have over other neighborhoods.

HOA Management in Phoenix and Associated Fees

You may be wondering exactly how the fee structure is disseminated in a HOA-controlled community; especially considering that nonpayment can result in a lien on your property – which can lead to eventual legal seizure. Although the benefits established by HOA-controlled properties vary widely, the fees are used to support and maintain these benefits. Pools, parks, daily street-cleaning – above and beyond those ratified by the municipality – are services; the cost of which is spread out among the neighborhood.

The actual powers of HOA management in Phoenix depend on the specifics of the neighborhood, and the legal status of the HOA group. Although “unofficial” HOA’s exist, their range of powers is limited; for example, if the association isn’t incorporated, then property liens are not within their purview and you can choose not to pay the fees – even if you reside in the neighborhood. As such, it is instrumental to have your broker find out whether or not the desired property is within a Homeowner’s Association community, and the rules and fees required of you after you settle down.

Who Governs a HOA?

A HOA is actually comprised of a board of community members who vote on issues; in fact, you are almost always eligible to become a board member some time after you matriculate into the community. They tend to meet once or twice a year to assess current rules and consider new ones, as problems arise or are resolved. Get in touch with the current president or chairman of a HOA to find out more information on the neighborhood and what’s required – particularly for future plans already in the works.

For an incorporated HOA, you are locked in to the fees once you purchase the property. The standard practice of informing new and incoming members about the rules and regulations is to send out a booklet detailing all pertinent information; you are responsible for apprising yourself of this info, signing it, and returning it within a week or so. These Homeowner Association Documents are legally-binding in the case of an incorporated HOA, so it is imperative that you take them seriously. Alternatively, you can avoid a HOA altogether by simply not moving into the neighborhood.