Questions to Ask Before Buying a Home with an HOA

HOAWhen you set out to find a new home to buy, you will have to take into consideration more than just the house itself. Houses for sale in St. George vary greatly in size, style, and price range, but they also vary in the type of community by which they are surrounded. 

If you are considering a home in St. George that is in an HOA-managed community, it is essential to know what questions to ask to make sure you will love the neighborhood as much as you love the house itself. Contact us any time if you have questions about finding the right neighborhood for you in St. George, and keep reading for some questions you should ask about a potential HOA. 

What type of amenities are offered?

Communities with an HOA generally offer amenities that set the neighborhood apart from others. You will find active adult communities in St. George with an impressive array of amenities, as well as St. George gated communities that may also have exclusive events or facilities for residents.

Get a list of what amenities, events, and privileges are offered, as well as what services might be covered by the HOA. This often includes groundskeeping for common areas and sometimes covers insurance or environmental care as well. 

What do I need to know about the HOA dues?

In addition to finding out how much the HOA dues will be, make sure you know when they need to be paid and when they are allowed to be increased. The HOA will have a policy in place for how frequently the dues can be raised, and by how much. This is important for your own planning, as some communities have very little restrictions and you need to be prepared to have this cost increased at any time.

Are the reserves fully funded?

A healthy HOA should have a fully funded reserve in case of emergency or expected maintenance and repair. Inquire about this and find out if they are allowed to have a special assessment, in which case they will pass on additional expenses to the homeowners rather than pulling from a reserve.

What are the community guidelines and do they align with my goals for the home?

Each HOA will have its own guidelines, with some placing very minimal and reasonable expectations that nearly anyone would be fine with, and others having a much more strict set of rules. 

Make sure to look through the community guidelines and be sure that any plans you have for the home will not violate them. Common issues are plans to run a short term vacation rental or the desire to post political signage in front of your home, both of which are often prohibited by an HOA.

What benefits does this HOA offer me?

Remember that the HOA is there to serve the homeowners. Find out what benefits they offer you, including the amenities but also any services or protections. One of the primary benefits of an HOA-managed community is often the protected property values. The HOA will make sure everyone is caring for their homes to avoid bringing the value of the neighborhood down. 

Who can serve on the HOA board and how do they become a part of it?

Some HOA boards are filled by volunteers, while other board members have to be nominated and/or elected. Find out how this potential HOA is managed and if there are any term limits or other relevant details. 

Can I see the minutes from recent HOA meetings?

If you want to be extra thorough or have some specific concerns, find out if you can see the minutes from a recent HOA meeting, or a few. This might help you get an idea of the type of leadership in the community and any ongoing disputes or problems that are happening.

Ready to begin the search for your home in St. George? Contact us any time.

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