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Understanding Home Owner's Associations (HOAs)

The Importance of Understanding the Home Owner’s Association When Purchasing a Townhome or Patio Home

There are many things to consider when buying a townhome or patio home. One very important aspect of living in a townhome or patio home is the Home Owner’s Association. While often there are similarities in HOA’s, there also can be extreme differences.

In general, most townhomes and patio homes are part of a Home Owner’s Association.  The association will often take care of the exterior maintenance of the buildings and grounds.

It is very important, that as a buyer, you take very special care in researching what the home owner’s association will cover and what you, as a home owner will be responsible for.

Does the HOA pay for any utilities? Does it pay for maintenance and repairs, if so, what does it cover? Does the HOA pay for items such as water, sewer, trash, grounds maintenance, insurance, exterior maintenance, roof, driveway, snow removal, pool repairs…etc? Does the HOA allow for pets, or rentals? Does the HOA allow you to change anything about the exterior or interior of your property, and how are those changes handled?

Every condominium and townhouse association is required to file a declaration of covenants, conditions and restrictions. Simply put, this document discloses precisely how the homeowners' association is to be structured, exactly what its duties and responsibilities are, and what restrictions are to be placed on all owners as to acceptable modifications and improvements to their individual units. This document will be specific--for example, it may state that no owner can make any modification to the color of doors or windows, or may even stipulate what type of interior window coverings are acceptable. Often, the HOA’s goal is to have as much uniformity throughout the complex as possible.

 

The Financial Health of the Association-

Because the HOA may be responsible for many items for your townhome or patio home, one additional aspect of the association that you will want to investigate closely for any townhouse or condominium that you are considering is its financial condition and stability. Associations are required to develop an annual budget for both income (homeowners' fees) and expenses, as well as the current state of its financial condition. The more solvent (the more cash reserves available) an association is, the more protected the homeowners are. If there is a lack of cash reserves and an expensive repair becomes necessary, the association may go to the homeowners to obtain the needed funds. This is done via a special assessment (a one time or possibly a multi-payment charge to members of the association), or even a possible rate increase on dues.   

It is important that you work with a qualified licensed Real estate agent, to help you with all the aspects of purchasing or selling a property. There are many unique things to consider when buying or selling a townhome or patio home. We are here to help you!

We have an experienced team that can assist you with all the facets of this detailed process. If you are selling, we have a powerful listing technique with unsurpassed tools to help you sell your property. If you are a buyer, we also have buyer’s agents that understand the special needs of a townhome and patio home buyer and who know our Colorado Townhome and Patio home market exceptionally well! We understand Home Owner’s Associations and what to investigate when purchasing a property involved with a Home Owner’s Association.  

We hope we can provide you with all the information you may ever need in purchasing or selling your townhome or patio home. We can also help provide you with Home Owner’s Association information for any given complex. The next step is to give us a call at (303) 548-1090,  so we can start showing you properties or assist you with the sale of your property today.



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