Home Owners Association rules are created for the best interest of the community and vary from HOA to HOA. Failure to follow these rules can result in serious fines or legal action, so it is not to be taken lightly.
Before you plan to purchase a house in an HOA community, be sure to read through the rules and guidelines (CC&R) thoroughly. If you have an opportunity, have a chat with the neighbors regarding their experience living in the development abiding by these rules. Although some of the rules are pretty standard, different HOAs will have their own set of unique guidelines pertaining to their community and their specific common areas and "personality."
If you have never lived in an HOA community before, you might find that some of the policies are rather restricting, or even bizarre, (I remember reading through mine the first time and seeing that the HOA specifically restricted swine from residing in the homes... which made me think that at some point, someone HAD to have had a pig in the neighborhood that had caused a bit of a ruckus!)
The usual HOA guidelines include what kind of maintenance to the common will be done including the landscapes, swimming pools and play areas, and the courts or courses if they apply.
Garbage removal may be included in the HOA fees, or may not, but there will likely be a policy about keeping your trash cans out for a limited amount of time, and where they can be stored. (Garbage tends to be a big deal with neighbors). You may also be restricted to where you can park and for how long, and how late an loudly you can party outside the house.
Most of the common place regulations involve general discipline in the daily activities like throwing out garbage, mowing the lawn, keeping the premises clean, and maintaining low noise level so that one will not get the feel of living in a college apartment. This is for the general happiness and well-being of all, despite the occasional inconvenience to the individual.
Attendance at the regular HOA meetings, will give you a feel for not only why the rules are in place, but also for how to change rules too. HOAs will welcome participation from the residents and on the committees and if there is a policy you are not happy with, as a member of the community, you have the opportunity to try to get it changed!
If you have any questions about the HOAs in the Charlotte area, please give us a call at 888.600.5044.
Kuester Property Management
HOA Community Management