If you are unfamiliar with what a homeowners association is, then you might wonder how one could love or hate them. A homeowners association is a community that enforces rules and manages common amenities for both the residents and visitors of a specific community. HOA / COA can manage a single building or a diverse group of single housing units or multi-family units. The association can be managed by volunteers or an independent management company could be hired to ensure the rules are enforced and that common buildings and property are well maintained.
Examples of multi-family units:
- Duplexes, this is a two-story house with two different families living on each floor. They will share a front door but the families will have separate unit entrances.
- Townhouses, the families will live in one house that will be separated by an interior wall, the families will purchase the units separately and have different entrances.
- Apartment complexes, it is a single structure with at least more than two or more housing units. The residents will share common resources like a swimming pool, parking garage or playground.
Single-family units are free-standing homes set alone on individually owned land. According to the U.S Census Bureau, a single-family house is one that may be fully detached, semi-detached, a row house or a townhome. However, for a dwelling that’s attached to other homes to be considered a single-family home, it “must be separated from the adjacent unit by a ground-to-roof wall”.
Pro’s & Con’s of HOA in these communities
Multi-family communities, their pro’s can range based on the location, common area shared by the residents, and the guidelines which could be agreed upon. There could be numerous benefits to having an HOA, including any of the following:
- Maintenance of the property, for instance, the common areas like the pool, and landscape, repairing of the roofing (ensuring that it has an insurance cover). They will be accountable for painting the property, cutting the grass, and snow removal, things of that nature.
- Capital Strength simply refers to having solid finances in terms of their reserves. They always have stable savings which ensure in cases of emergency like roof liking or plumbing issues, these can be resolved as quickly as possible. Rarely need special assistance.
- Obtaining a variety of amenities could be things like hiking trails, access to a river, sports courts, parks, and even braai areas.
- Building community engagements, outdoor gatherings often occur a lot motivated to building the community and letting people engage with one another. Things like cake sales, annual movie nights in the park or even themed food festivals. These gatherings are often fun and filled with enjoyment as it should be because that is the aim.
Single Home communities will mostly ensure the maintenance of trash removal, management of the community and its security or even common spaces shared like a nearby monument.
With the multi-family communities, it would be the fees. Think about it, there are a lot of things to maintain and multiple shared common areas. The payable fees are slightly higher than a single-home community. Single home communities don’t have to pay the same fees to the HOA fees clearly, however, the individual homeowners are then individually responsible for their property and any amenities maintenance.
Lack of freedom is a part of purchasing property in a community association. Rules that are put in place to protect the community as a whole, also place limits on the freedom individual owners have to remodel, landscape, park vehicles, host events, and more. We are not saying that the rules are bad, but they can be frustrating at times to individual owners who want to go against the norm in a community with respect to a variety of lifestyle choices.
Another main goal of community associations is to manage large funds and prevent fraud. Fraud and theft can happen in a lot of ways, especially in self-managed HOA communities run entirely by volunteers. What are the potential fraud risks to occur within an HOA?
Here are a few examples:
Recently we release an article to help with fraud prevention and we recommend everyone on an HOA / COA board read it and follow the advice given to help reduce fraud moving forward.
Homeowner associates are made up of board members and managers, within the association everyone whose part of it has a role to play. Remember though most of them are volunteers which is why it is necessary to have the finance be taken care of by reputable companies like C.O.R.E Services.
Management companies provide services such as:
- Sound financial services
- Managing financial and budget issues
- Reserve fund reporting
- Check collection processing
These are just a few of the advantages that having a company like C.O.R.E Service can provide. Checks and balances are established through professional oversight. So, when you decide to move into multi-home communities or singular, always ensure that the HOA of that community is governed by a reputable company to ensure peace of mind when coming to handling the facilities funds.