What First-Time HOA Buyers need to Know

First-time HOA buyers need to know as much as possible about the community. Before you submit a purchase offer, have it accepted, go through closing, then move into the home, take time to ensure it’s worthwhile. After all, this is a very large investment and you shouldn’t purge your possessions to move only to learn you’ve bought an incredible amount of buyer’s remorse. Living in a homeowner’s association community definitely has its perks but you’ve got to buy into the right community to enjoy what HOAs typically offer residents.

What First-Time HOA Buyers need to Know

When you buy a home, you’ve got to start the process well before the actual house hunt. Saving money for a down payment, inspections, closing costs, moving, and other miscellaneous expenses will pop up. In addition, you’ve got to check your credit reports from all three bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. Any errant items you need to dispute through snail mail, with full documentation. Do not use the online dispute system, these are too short to provide enough detail. Dispute through regular mail and be sure to follow-up with everything.

Few things in life are more exciting than buying your first home. The feeling of turning the key for the first time (or clicking the garage door opener) is thrilling. You’ll likely feel a sense of pride like never before. But getting to that point may be a challenge. And the challenges won’t end once you move in. The more you know about the process, the more prepared you can be for the wrinkles that pop up, and the more you can relax and enjoy homeownership. —Realty Times.com

Then, there’s the matter of getting through the home inspection, pest inspection, wind mitigation inspection, and appraisal. Any one of these could delay or derail the deal. But even before all of those inspections and appraisal, you’ll need to learn as much as you can about the homeowner’s association. This will either endorse your choice or cause you to keep on looking. Being thorough is paramount because it’s just too much time and effort to go to waste.

  • The reserves. Homeowners’ associations keep money reserves which are used for unexpected expenses (typically large expenses). If there is little money in reserve, that’s a red flag. Not only will it present problems with mortgage financing approval, it might also mean a future special assessment (a fee charged by the HOA to residents to fund a repair).
  • Future projects. Another thing to look at is any planned future projects. Here again, you’re looking into the homeowner’s association finances in order to glean insight as to how responsibly it’s operated. This could also tell you if a HOA dues increase is on the horizon.
  • Special assessments. You should also know about any previous or current special assessments. These will help you understand the overall condition of the community, it’s newest amenities, its latest repairs, upgrades, or other things.
  • What is and isn’t included. One great aspect of living in a HOA community is the ability to enjoy its many benefits. Common amenities are a community swimming pool, clubhouse, fitness center, and more. However, there are generally limitations to access, use, guest rules, and so on.
  • All the bylaws and the CC&R. The bylaws and CC&R or Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions, are all the “rules” of the HOA, outline how it runs, and resident rights as well as restrictions. Although these are far from exciting, it’s necessary to go over them so you are in-the-know.

If you are considering buying or selling a home in Orlando’s Hunter’s Creek, or another community, contact us for the latest market information. We will help you find the right property.