Homeowners Associations (HOAs) have grown in popularity over the years. An HOA provides services to homeowners that will assist them in maintaining their home and the community they live in. Homeowners Associations are responsible for setting the homeowners association fees, providing the services and amenities, setting rules and regulations, and collecting fees.
Those purchasing a newly built home often appreciate the security of participating in a community that is held to various standards. These standards may include the number of pets allowed in a home, noise restrictions, overall home and yard appearance, and others. Other advantages of living in a community that offers an HOA include access to parks, clubhouses, and community amenities. Not only do these amenities provide a source of entertainment, they also promote a close-knit community vibe and socialization among neighbors.
Advantages of an HOA
While some, at first glance, might feel that HOA rules are restrictive, they are quite successful in keeping harmony and balance in a neighborhood.
Enhancing & Protecting Home Values
Homeowners are invested in their homes, and it’s important for that investment to be maintained. An HOA may outline rules that regulate various standards regarding landscaping, lawns, and home exteriors.
Upholding the Aesthetics in the Neighborhood
Yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, however, HOAs ensure that homeowners won’t be “graced” with potentially unnerving and shocking decorations and home designs. Outrageous exterior paint colors and excessive holiday décor may all be effectively curbed by HOA rules that strive to uphold modest and tasteful community aesthetics.
Various Home Maintenance Services for Homeowners
Depending on the HOA’s rules, the fee that homeowners pay may contribute to services that make life easier for those living in the neighborhood. Snow removal, leaf removal, spring cleanup, etc. are just a few examples.
Homeowner Involvement in Their Community
On its own, homeownership creates a sense of responsibility. A neighborhood HOA may also allow homeowners to serve on their HOA board, which gives members of the community a say in how their neighborhood is managed and how they, and others are served.
An Arbitration Process for Resolving Disputes
It doesn’t happen often, but there are times when neighbors don’t agree with one another. The presence of an HOA gives homeowners an avenue to resolve disputes so they can keep their complaints from escalating.
HOA Members Share in the Costs
Another advantage to having an HOA is that all of the members will contribute to share in the cost of the various services that are provided. Instead of paying independently for snow removal or landscaping, HOA members share in this jointly and receive the same services that benefit the entire community.
Common HOA Rules
When you purchase a home in a neighborhood that has an HOA, you agree to become a member of that HOA. Be sure to read through the conditions, covenants, restrictions and bylaws that are outlined in the HOA’s governing documents. Some common HOA rules include:
- Limits to home occupancy
- Restrictions on lawn and holiday decorations
- Short-term rental restrictions
- Trash & recycling rules
- Controls over architectural design and additions
- Noise complaint policies
- Limits to the number of pets
- Parking guidelines and rules
- Home maintenance standards
- Rules regarding food, drink and number of people in a common space
- Pool area restrictions
- How the home can be used (using it as a business)
- Landscaping rules such as where plants and trees may be planted, and how large they can be
Are HOA Rules Ever Changed?
The beauty of an HOA is that it allows members to be directly involved in their community. If there is a particular rule that one or more members aren’t happy about, they have the power to bring about change when they go through the correct channels. Becoming a member of the board and/or attending board meetings are great ways to monitor rules and bring about change when necessary.
HOAs offer homeowners a number of advantages, and it is important to carefully review the rules and regulations before purchasing a home in Montana. Many homeowners appreciate the advantages an HOA brings through community involvement, dispute resolution, protecting home values, and sharing the cost of common services and resources.