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Is A Condo in Your Future? 5 HOA Rules that You Must Consider!

Condos are great places to live!  They offer so many things to make your life more enjoyable, like gated living, pools, exercise rooms, restaurants, and golf courses.  They also provide lawn maintenance, which we all love.  But, beware of these HOA rules that you might regret signing on to!  Always read the fine print to make sure you can live with the rules and regulations of a particular community.  They’re called CC&Rs (Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions). 

Condo HOA Fees

These fees can range from small, manageable fees to hundreds of dollars a month, depending on the amenities offered in the community.  Do they offer a golf course, indoor/outdoor pools, or maybe a guard at the gate?  It all adds up.  It pays to understand what the fees are and what they cover.

Your Realtor will provide you with a copy of the CC&Rs, so be sure to carefully read the document.  This is the time to ask questions, and be sure they are answered to your satisfaction.  You might even talk to some neighbors to see how strictly those rules are monitored.  Some board of directors  are more lenient than others, and some are downright insane with their monitoring. 

Also ask for a financial statement to make sure they have plenty of reserve money available.  You don’t want to get in there only to find the fees will have to be increased.

Vacation Rental Condos

Be sure to check whether or not the community allows for vacation rentals.  This can be a positive or a negative depending on what your plans are. 

If you want to purchase a condo as an investment, be sure they allow vacation rentals.  Questions to ask include (1) do you have to use their rental service or can you use your own, or even manage yourself?  (2)  What are the guidelines as far as furnishings like Flat Screen TVs, DVRs, internet service, etc.?  (3)  If it’s on a golf course, do they allow your guests to use the course?  (4) Do they allow your guests to use other amenities like the pool, exercise room, etc. 

Will any HOA penalties apply if one of your guests violate the rules?  Even if you’re not aware of the problem?

If you are buying it for your primary residence or personal vacation home, do you want to live in an area with renters coming and going all the time?  Or would you prefer it to be an all-private residence community?

These questions must be answered!

HOA Violation Penalty

Did you know that HOAs can put  liens on your property?  Yes, and they can result in foreclosure proceedings!  HOA violation penalties count as bills that must be paid.  Make sure you know the fines for any violation.    How must the exterior of your condo be maintained?  Pay special attention to the penalty and foreclosure section of the CC&Rs.

Parking?

The HOA can enforce parking rules!  What if you have two designated spaces, but have three cars?  You might end up having to sell one of your vehicles.  Perhaps they will sell you another space – or even a garage?  You must make sure  you and your guests know which parking spaces are yours. 

Pet Restrictions?

HOAs typically want to restrict pet sizes.  If you have a large dog, a condo may not be right for you.  Ask about their remedy for barking dogs?  You might not want to move into a condo only to find there is a dog next door that just won’t quit barking!  

These are just a few things that can make or break your condo experience.  Be sure to check into anything of importance to you before signing on that dotted line!