When looking at real estate property in Tempe, you’ll discover that many communities are covered by homeowners’ associations, or HOAs. These are legal entities formed to help maintain common areas and property values through the community. They have the authority to enforce deed restrictions. Homeowners associations are common to most condo developments and many neighborhood subdivisions also have their own HOAs, founded when the division was first built.
Associations work by establishing a set of covenants, conditions and restrictions that are given to every homeowner. These rules are intended to promote and maintain the value and general feel of the community. Most HOAs have several features in common.
- HOA membership is mandatory for all owners in the development.
- Membership requires a mandatory fee or set of fees.
- The association has the authority to enforce maintenance and design standards above and beyond those established by the state and city.
- A homeowner’s association is usually a corporation with formal bylaws. It will often have a governing board and hire a property management company to handle the upkeep of the development.
- Roughly 7,000 new homeowners’ associations are founded every year. This includes condos, planned communities and neighborhood developments. About 80% of new housing communities are built with HOAs in place.
You’ll find that every community in Tempe is different. Although the details change, the majority of homeowner’s associations see to the basic maintenance tasks of a community. They collect the various fees necessary to run neighborhood operations and keep up community landscaping and recreational facilities. An association will often provide space for events and neighborhood functions. In some places, the HOA provides for security. Street maintenance is usually a priority for an HOA. But the function that impacts homeowners the most is when an association enforces community deed restrictions for exterior home maintenance, commercial use of the homeowner’s property, and control of trash or blight. In these cases, the homeowner must correct the violation.
Know What HOA Membership Means to You
When seeking a new home, you must decide whether or not to live in a HOA community. Some homeowners find associations to be a benefit that protects their home-buying investment. Others consider associations to be a burden. Before you buy a home in an area overseen by a homeowner’s association, take the time to answer a few simple questions.
- What are the HOA’s rules and how do they apply to the home you’re planning to buy?
- What dues does the HOA change? Once you buy the home, membership in the association is mandatory. Dues can range from trivial to incredible, depending on the community.
- Are there term limits for the association’s board members? Could you become a board member? Have the board members trained in efficient management techniques?