In real estate, it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. As you search homes for sale in South Florida, pay attention to all the listing notes. Will maintenance be included? Is it a golf course community? Is it part of a master-planned community?
Often times, the more luxurious a neighborhood is, the more likely it is to have a homeowners association, or an HOA. If you’re thinking about buying a home with an HOA, it’s important to know exactly what that entails.
What is a Homeowners Association?
Simply put, a homeowners association is an organization that oversees the general maintenance of a community. HOAs may be responsible for maintaining community spaces, such as neighborhood pools, clubhouses, fitness centers, and general lawn care.
Typically, an HOA is governed by a board of volunteers who live in the neighborhood. However, for some new-construction communities, the HOA may be comprised of the neighborhood’s developers.
What are the Benefits to Having an HOA?
Depending on your neighborhood, and the guidelines for its HOA, there are a myriad of benefits they bring to the community! Some general ones include:
- They provide maintenance such as lawn care, landscaping, and community upkeep
- Use of amenities (think: swimming pools, fitness centers, and clubhouses)
- Social events and programming to promote a set neighborhood community
Are There Any Drawbacks?
HOAs aren’t for everyone. Again, depending on the specific guidelines of your HOA, you may not agree with some of their rules. Throughout our experience serving home buyers in South Florida, here’s some of the feedback we’ve heard from homeowners dissatisfied with their community’s HOA:
- HOA dues can be costly—they can range from a couple hundred dollars a year to a couple hundred dollars a month.
- Major upgrades and additions must be approved by the HOA board.
- The HOA sets the standards for your home—they may have specific rules outlawing certain kinds of lawn ornaments, flowers and plants, and other things relating to your home’s appearance.
Always Read the Fine Print
HOAs differ in what they offer and what maintenance they provide. Whenever you’re making an investment, especially one that will determine your lifestyle, it’s important to read all the fine print.
If you have a question about a particular South Florida neighborhood’s HOA, please don’t hesitate to give us a call! Our team may be able to provide you with useful information regarding specific South Florida neighborhoods.
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