Four Common Headaches Of A Homeowners Association

Four Common Headaches Of A Home Owners AssociationWhen you are looking to purchase a home, you might hear a lot about something called a homeowners association, often shortened to HOA. While there are benefits of having an HOA in a living community, these benefits also have their drawbacks.

There are a few common headaches that people often experience when they move into a community that has an HOA. Anticipating these problems ahead of time can help everyone prepare for what they might encounter.

The Maintenance In The Common Area

Whether you are living in a condo or in a neighborhood, the HOA is supposed to maintain the community common areas. This includes pool maintenance, lawns, landscaping, gyms, and more.

In some areas, your HOA might even be responsible for cleaning up after a storm goes through the area. Sometimes, this simply doesn’t happen. This can cause the neighborhood to look like a mess. If the neighborhood isn’t properly maintained, your property values may suffer. 

Problems With Parking

Without a doubt, parking issues are among the most common problems that you might encounter with your HOA. When someone is driving through town, traffic and parking issues are handled by the police.

In the neighborhood, the HOA is typically responsible. The bylaws of the homeowners association might even give them the right to fine people. Make sure you read the agreement with the HOA carefully. You need to know the laws as well as your rights.

Antenna Issues

It is important for you to remember that your HOA cannot control who you have handle your cable and internet connections. In addition, they cannot force you to remove a satellite dish from your house even if they don’t like the look of it.

On the other hand, if you use an antenna, there are still some HOA rules that can control its location. Make sure you read the rules if you elect to go with an antenna.

Understanding Homeowners Association Problems

Some of the other issues that you might encounter with your local homeowners’ association involve pets, holiday decorations, and other random fines. You should read up on the bylaws ahead of time so you know what lies ahead. While not every HOA creates problems, others can be a real headache.

As always, your local real estate agent can answer specific HOA-related questions on any community in the area. 

If you are in the market for a new home or interested in refinancing your current property, be sure to consult with your trusted home mortgage professional to discuss financing options.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Covenants, Codes and Restrictions?

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Covenants, Codes and RestrictionsThere is a joke about gated communities that says the walls are not just there to keep the people out but to keep the residents in. Living in a gated community that is subject to the rules of a homeowners’ association (HOA) can be a pleasant or a severely irritating experience, depending on the perspective a homeowner has about lifestyles.

The Good, Bad, And Ugly About CC&Rs

Gated and master-planned communities may have an HOA and also may have covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) that are part of the property rights (or lack thereof) that a home buyer accepts when they buy a property in those neighborhoods.

The developer records a registered copy of the CC&Rs with the county where the development is. Every homeowner is subject to the rules found in the official CC&Rs. A copy of the CC&Rs may look like an old-style telephone book with hundreds of pages.

Prospective home buyers should force themselves to take the time to read the entire CC&Rs extremely carefully. This may take many nights to read because reading the CC&Rs may put a person to sleep. However, failure to read them can cause serious problems in the future and extremely stressful levels of frustration.

What Can Be In The CC&Rs?

It is not surprising to see in the CC&Rs rules that prohibit a homeowner from filling the front yard with broken-down cars or having a pig farm on the property. In a nice, gated, community nobody wants to see a neighbor’s property in that condition. The benefit of having reasonable CC&Rs is that homes, which are eyesores, because the people do not maintain them properly, are prohibited.

So far, so good. However, what about when the CC&Rs state the maximum measurement of grass before cutting it is 1.25 inches. That is an odd number to use as a measurement standard but don’t be surprised to see stuff like this in the CC&Rs. In such a neighborhood, you can be cited for a grass height violation. It may seem funny to see the enforcers in the front yard measuring the grass with a ruler until a homeowner gets a fine for a violation. This is just a simple example of the many rules potentially found in the CC&Rs that are very easy to violate.

Want to put up lighted holiday decorations? Check the CC&Rs because it may not even be allowed to put a wreath on the front door.

Think it would be a nice idea to repaint the exterior of the house? Check the CC&Rs first because there are usually severe color restrictions. If the paint is one shade lighter or darker than an approved color, this may cause the need to redo the entire paint job.


Personal taste differs significantly between people. When buying a home subject to CC&Rs, be sure to read them carefully and be able to live with all the details. Otherwise, a homeowner may find it really frustrating to live in a neighborhood with so many controls over personal freedom and choice.

If you are in the market for a new home or interested in refinancing your current property, be sure to contact your trusted home mortgage professional to discuss your current financing options.