Moving into a residential community means accepting property rules as well as annual dues to the homeowners association (HOA). Often people wonder where the money goes. It should (per regulations) help to improve the property and the living status of the residents. As you attend the meetings (or read the notes if you’re busy), consider whether the HOA is helping in these three areas.
No one really wants to be THAT neighbor (The person tattling about who isn’t taking care of his or her yard). In an effort to keep the neighborhood peaceful, the HOA becomes the parent or boss. While people can call and complain, the HOA takes over the job of communicating issues to residents. Has someone not mowed the yard in the past month? Is someone’s exterior paint chipping off? Do you hear loud music constantly at midnight? The HOA sends notices, warning owners to take care of the property and to respect others. Should they continue to ignore it, the board can fine people. Let the association be the bad guy so that neighbors can be just that–neighborly.
Communal Property Maintenance
Just like you need to keep up with your own yard, the HOA usually cares for the common areas. The same rules for your own home apply to the communal grounds. Is the grass mowed and fertilized? Are the flowerbeds tended? Do you find the overall appearance pleasing? This also includes retention ponds. Many areas now have several. These man-made creations can enhance drainage and aesthetics, but they also require care to ensure beauty. If the water is overrun with unsightly algae, the HOA can use aquatic weed control to try and restore it. Should you notice any issues, contact management through e-mail or phone.
When the bill comes in the mail, just remember that the money isn’t just sitting in an account. It’s invested back into the community.