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Americans love to complain about homeowners’ associations. Yet, the fact is more and more of us are buying homes in managed communities than ever before. We may complain about restrictions when they affect us, but when our neighbor wants a purple mailbox, it is nice to have someone else take care of the problem.
Here are some good, bad, and ugly situations when it comes to homeowners’ associations.
Homeowners’ Associations are charged with operating in the best interest of the homeowners’ in the community. This is good, in that one or two homeowners shouldn’t be allowed to maintain their properties in a way that negatively impacts other owners. Associations maintain common areas, which is also good. They can prevent direct confrontations with neighbors who may disagree about the rules. The Association serves as judge and jury. This is perfect for non-aggressive people and even for those that may be passive-aggressive. Have a complaint about a neighbor’s pet, partying, vehicle or artwork in their front yard? File a complaint and let the Association deal with it. That’s Good. Unless, of course, Cousin Eddy wants to park his recreational vehicle in your driveway for a week. Although, that too, could be good.
On the negative side, Association’s charge a fee to maintain compliance with the community’s covenants and, in fact, to tell you what you can or can’t do with or on your property. This can be fine until you find out flying your college banner on your garage during football Saturday is a violation. Living in an Association can create an atmosphere of compliance that may seem restrictive or unfriendly. That’s Bad.
Yes, living in an association managed community can get ugly, especially where covenants are restrictive or rules are not clear. If you install fencing that is off-white as opposed to white, you could face serious consequences. Be aware that associations have the power to levy fines and may even be able to file a lien on your property if you don’t comply with their wishes. There are plenty of examples when living in an Association Managed community has gotten ugly.
The key is knowing what is expected of you and deciding if you can comply with those rules. Good, bad or ugly.
The goal of associations should be to protect your interest, much like the goal of home insurance. When you pay your homeowners’ insurance premiums, you protect your property from a variety of issues like fires, storms, vandalism, theft and more. You are even protecting yourself from liability claims should a person injure themselves on your property.
If you don’t know the limits of your homeowners’ insurance policy or if you would be covered in the event of a problem, the time to find out is now. Contact us for a no-obligation home insurance review.