Blog Stories What Buyers Need to Know About HOAs

What Buyers Need to Know About HOAs

By Chad Brackett, September 20, 2019

When searching for a home, you may end up selecting a property in a community with a Homeowners Association (HOA). Before you buy, it’s important to know how an HOA works and what they mean for you.

According to a recent article on realtor.com,

“In a nutshell, an HOA helps ensure that your community looks its best and functions smoothly…The number of Americans living in homes with HOAs is on the rise, growing from a mere 1% in 1970 to 25% today, according to the Foundation for Community Association Research.”

An HOA is governed by a board nominated by those living in the neighborhood. It is designed to make sure the residents have a support structure to maintain the value of the community while abiding by a set of guidelines called Common Restrictive Covenants (CC&R),

“Simply put, CC&Rs are just the rules you’ll have to follow if you live in that community. Unlike zoning regulations, which are government-imposed requirements on how the land can be used, restrictive covenants are established by HOAs to maintain the attractiveness and value of the property.”

It’s important for homeowners to understand that each HOA is a little different, and they usually have monthly or quarterly fees required for homeowners. These fees can vary based on the property size, the number of residents, amenities, and more. There may be additional fees charged to homeowners if the reserve fund for the HOA cannot cover a major or unexpected cost, like severe storm damage.

The fees, however, also help maintain common areas such as swimming pools, tennis courts, elevators (for high-rise buildings), and regular wear and tear. Although they are an added cost to the homeowner, an HOA can be a major benefit when it comes to maintaining the value of your neighborhood and your property.

The same article continues to say,

“After your offer to buy a home is accepted, you are legally entitled to receive and review the community’s CC&Rs over a certain number of days (typically between three and 10)…If you spot anything in the restrictive covenants you absolutely can’t live with, you can bring it up with the HOA board or just back out of your contract completely (and keep your deposit).”

Most lenders will factor your HOA fees into your loan package, ensuring the amount of the loan is appropriate for what you can truly afford.

There are some great benefits to having an HOA oversee your neighborhood, and it’s important to understand what fees, structures, and regulations will come into play if there is an HOA where you’d like to live.

Bottom Line

When you’re looking at a potential property to buy, let’s get together so you have a professional who can help you understand the neighborhood’s HOA structure and fees. This way, you’ll feel confident and fully informed when buying a home.

Chad Brackett

Earth Advantage & ADU Specialist Broker Licensed in OR & WA

Movin' and shakin'... Do you need to buy? Do you need to sell? Is moving in your future? Then let’s talk. Chad Brackett is licensed in Oregon, Washington, and California. Chad's career has afforded him the opportunity to live in 12 different states across the United States while buying and selling more than 12 homes and investment properties, including, most recently, in the Piedmont neighborhood of Portland. Originally from a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia, Chad most recently moved to Portland after spending the past couple of years in the San Francisco Bay Area where he worked for Alain Pinel Realtors. While Chad is relatively new to Portland, he is a Northwestern at heart: “I love everything about Portland. The people, the topography and climate, it is the best place I have live. From the mountains to the coast, there is just so much for my family to do.” Chad has quickly assimilated to the area based on his prior moving experiences. He understands firsthand the challenges with not only buying and selling homes but with moving and relocating. His previous experiences will be an invaluable resource to you throughout your real estate transaction. Chad is committed to quality, integrity, professionalism and excellent service when you enlist his services. Prior to beginning his real estate career, Chad had a successful 30-year retail career in sales and operational support for divisions of large organizations like L'Oreal and Limited Brands amongst others. Chad is extremely detail oriented and will utilize his strategic planning, analysis and innovative approach to ensure that you are completely informed throughout the real estate transaction and achieve your desired goals. He has provided support, training and leadership to thousands of employees and has been responsible for hundreds of millions in annual sales volume. If a commitment to service and being the #1 priority is important to you, then contact Chad.
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  • T: 503-389-0685
  • F: 503-961-8224
  • chadbrackett@livingroomre.com

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