Moving into a home governed by a homeowner's association, or HOA, for the first time can be a little bit confusing. It's important that you're clear on the role of the HOA and exactly what is expected of you. Here are a few things that can help you make the transition into this type of neighborhood.
Thoroughly Review The Association Rules
Every homeowner's association has a thorough set of rules by which every resident in the neighborhood must follow. You need to read and understand all of these rules to avoid any conflict with the association caused by lack of preparation. If there are any rules that aren't clear, you should ask about them right away. Since most neighborhoods governed by an association like this are pretty close-knit, you don't want to develop a reputation for being the new neighbor who disregards the rules.
Obtain The Permits and Approvals Required For Renovations
If you're going to repaint or do any remodeling, make sure that you don't need association approval first. If you do need that approval, reach out to them before you start any work. This shows respect for the regulations and tells the association that you'll be cooperative, attentive, and a good neighbor.
Meet Your Neighbors
In most neighborhoods that are governed by an association, the residents know each other pretty well. When you first move in, make an effort to introduce yourself to your immediate neighbors. This prevents any unnecessary calls to the association about someone unfamiliar lurking around the house. In addition, since many HOA regulations prohibit the leasing or subletting of homes, it can also prevent neighbors from accidentally reporting your home as a violation.
Become A Part Of the Community
Make sure you attend all of the HOA meetings that you can. If you're not able to attend, request the meeting minutes. This way, you always know what is transpiring in the neighborhood and you have an opportunity to interact with others. When you do attend meetings, take an active role. Express your opinions, offer feedback and discuss any issues that are raised. In addition, show support for any local events. You might even want to offer your services as a committee chairperson.
These tips will help you to adjust to living in an area governed by a homeowner's association. The support of associations like this can make these homes a valuable investment. Make yourself part of the community and work with the association to better the neighborhood, improving your quality of life at the same time.