NATIONAL – 5 Reasons You Hate Your Homeowners Association
But when you buy your own home, you expect to be in charge, deciding what to plant, what color to paint, where to walk the dog. Unless, that is, you live in a “common-interest community” governed by the most local form of government you can imagine — a homeowners association (HOA).
A primer for the uninitiated: HOAs, generally led by an elected board of directors and supported by property management firms, oversee much of what goes on in planned communities of detached homes, townhomes and condominiums, from suburban America to cities where residential housing is being built in skyscrapers.
When you purchase property governed by an association, you are obligated to sign paperwork that gives that association say over much of what goes on in your new neighborhood and even on your property. You can’t say “no” or not sign on; it’s a private community and signing the long HOA agreement will be part of your ritual at closing, agreeing to pay the dues and abide by the corresponding covenants, conditions and restrictions. And for the most part, experts say, people don’t research or understand all of what they’re signing. Read more: