Posted on November 16, 2015 7:30 AM by HOA Sites
At some point, you have likely encountered a neighbor in your community that kept to themselves or seemed to frequently complain about one of the rules in the homeowners association. Today, residents have the option of going on the HOA website to get the answers they need and avoid those times of appearing irritable. While some homeowners prefer to live a more reserved life, establishing a common friendship with other residents often leads to a higher quality of life for everyone in the community.
Great Neighbor Tips Start Here!
The fundamentals to be a great neighbor start with knowing and following the rules set forth by the homeowners association. Lead by example so other neighbors follow along and this establishes a more cooperative environment that reduces the chance of a resident getting special treatment.
Secondly, resolve issues you encounter with other residents by opening up the topic in person using a polite and respectful tone. On average, most homeowners are too busy to address any issues face to face and choose to send a text, an email, or social media message.
Next, take the time to assist your neighbors when they might need guidance with a project or special occasion. If you can offer them alternatives that saves them money or time, they will surely appreciate your suggestions and be inclined to return the favor when you need help.
Are You Considerate Of Your Neighbors?
Often, there are holidays and times of celebration that are ideal for inviting neighbors over to enjoy a more relaxed setting. As well, there are times where you may only invite family over. During those events, notify your neighbors ahead of time so they know what to expect such as additional noise or to watch for kids. Usually, simple actions like this are greatly appreciated and show that you take your neighbors into consideration.
Lastly, get involved in your community to be a great neighbor whether you volunteer your time or keep residents informed on the HOA website. The impact is beneficial to your neighbors and rewarding to you for many years to come.
Posted on November 6, 2015 10:00 AM by HOA Sites
Many residents tend to decorate their homes with an assortment of light displays or simple decorations during the holidays to celebrate the season. In an HOA community, there are generally guidelines to follow that limit the extent of decorating, but not all homeowners associations are the same. How do you know if the decorations you plan to use are allowed?
Often, regulations are found in the rules of the governing documents or on the homeowner association website to inform you of what is acceptable. To avoid the annoyance and embarrassment of removing any items, follow-up with a couple of neighbors about the decorations that are restricted prior to decorating your home.
Is Your Homeowners Association Lenient?
For homeowners that are new to the community, it is especially important that you find out about the decorations policy in place concerning the holiday season in your homeowners association. Even if the rules are restrictive, the homeowners association might not strictly enforce these rules as they want to keep homeowners happy during the holidays.
Most residents that have lived in the community for a few years are well aware what the homeowners association will accept. If the decorations you are considering violate the rules, you can always attend a board meeting with a proposal to make an amendment to the decorations policy. Typically, it is best to decorate according to the rules of your homeowners association and avoid the risk of receiving any potential fine.
Insight & Your Preference
Ultimately, there are many aspects that factor into enjoying the holiday season and decorating for the holidays is just one aspect. Homeowners that deeply value decorating their home for the holidays should verify that the rules of the HOA fit their particular preference before joining the community. Frequently, the homeowner association website and future neighbors provide a great deal of insight on choosing a community that suitably fits your individual needs.
Posted on October 30, 2015 2:50 PM by HOA Sites
Regardless of the neighborhood, every resident enjoys living in a safe community where they feel comfortable living their day to day life. Ordinarily, a homeowners association ensures a community is secure and homeowners never think about when they could be the next victim of crime.
For those that visit the community website, they have an advantage of being aware of important matters and staying prepared for the future. With the holiday season upon us, there could be no better time than the present to be ready for criminal activity so you can better protect your home and yourself.
In addition to the community website, there are a variety of other resources to connect with in order to be proactive about safety in your neighborhood. First and foremost, sign up for alerts and notifications before a crisis or emergency so you stay up-to-date about developing news. Regularly, this improves the participation of residents to engage with other residents about pivotal situations so everyone is well-informed.
Also, immediately report all suspicious activity to the authorities despite how insignificant it may seem as prevention is the key. Residents with families should especially stay attentive and be creative with ways of implementing safety measures such as discussing basic safety tips with their children.
The Goal Of Community Safety
Posted on October 9, 2015 8:00 AM by HOA Sites
During the Fall season, the leaves start changing color and the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors with neighbors becomes less probable. Planning community events such as a fall festival allows residents to come together one more time to enjoy their friendships before colder weather arrives.
In most cases, the homeowners association website will have the details of the festival posted there for residents to get informed or volunteer. Reliable volunteers are always appreciated as many activities will need to be organized depending on the size of your community. What are some aspects to keep in mind for the festival to be a success?
Fun For All Ages!
Many homeowners want to celebrate the occasion without any difficulties so be sure to plan everything with a back-up plan in mind. This applies to volunteers, location of the event, food, and games. As a rule, always have more volunteers than what you think will be necessary to ensure everything goes according to plan if there would be a cancellation.
Ideally, this is an event that residents of all ages will be attending so there should be a variety of activities such as pumpkin carving, face painting, bake walks, and a bounce house. Residents that have lived in the community for many years will likely catch up with long-time friends while younger residents participate in games.
A Festival To Remember
Often, a variety of games enables the homeowners to engage in activities that are both fun and beneficial to building friendships in the community. The best fall festivals are those that residents enjoy and establish new friendships with other homeowners that last for many years to come. After the event concludes, use the homeowners association website to submit your thoughts on the success of the Fall festival and ways that it can be improved for next year!
Posted on October 5, 2015 9:31 AM by HOA Sites
Regulations on your home and property are often the last thing you want as it can interrupt your lifestyle in the most inconvenient ways. Aside from viewing the neighborhood website, there are many areas to check into so you stay content with your decision on where you choose to live.
Checking on the rules, bylaws, and CC&Rs of a homeowners association is a must for any homeowner before making conclusive plans on relocating. The CC&Rs are known as the governing documents over a property and it stands for covenants, conditions, and restrictions. Will they play a role in your daily life as a homeowner
Covenants, Conditions, & Restrictions Reminders
As a general rule, most homeowners that are looking to move into a new neighborhood like what they see and have already accepted a majority of what the CC&Rs cover. Typically, they require that homeowners keep their lawn mowed and limitations may be placed on the color of your house. As well as the type of landscaping that is visible from the front.
Not all homeowners associations will be the same and enforce these rules as strictly as others. The key is to remember what is defined in the CC&Rs and ask yourself if they will interfere with your happiness for the duration you expect to reside in that area. After all, these are in place to maintain and enhance the value of your property.
Clarify The Situation
In some cases, the CC&Rs may require that you park your vehicles inside the garage or demand you follow specific fencing guidelines. Additionally, they could also have strict rules regarding swing sets, outdoor lights, mailboxes, and garbage cans. Areas such as these can present a complication if you are a homeowner who is particular as the CC&Rs necessitate a more extensive process to get relief from. If the neighborhood website is unclear, seek legal advice so you fully understand the covenants, conditions, and restrictions.
Posted on September 25, 2015 1:34 PM by HOA Sites
Part of living in a homeowners association is to understand the bylaws and how they protect the HOA and residents. The bylaws are guidelines to how the homeowners association operates and they establish boundaries for making revisions to the bylaws themselves when changes are imperative.
Often, the bylaws can be found on the HOA website as they cover many aspects of the homeowners association. Included in the bylaws are the voting rights of members, schedule of meetings, responsibilities of the board of directors, and those who serve on the board.
Will An Update Change Your Point Of View?
Residents that accept the bylaws of a homeowners association may not agree to an amendment of a bylaw while other residents may be ready for a change. Some residents may have relocated after analyzing the guidelines of the homeowners association as the bylaws can significantly influence the satisfaction of homeowners. If those bylaws are updated, that could lead to major changes in voting rights or replacing members on the board of directors.
With each passing year, there may be bylaws that become out-of-date and need updated to efficiently address matters within the homeowners association. Periodically, the board of directors should evaluate the bylaws to ensure they adequately fulfill the needs and concerns of residents.
Take A Vote!
Bylaw changes not only come about from the board of directors but also from homeowners who are requesting it. When a change happens, it must be performed in a manner according to what is outlined in the bylaws. Typically, proposed changes to the bylaws are discussed in a meeting where the amendment is voted upon before the change can be reflected.
Various homeowners associations allow the board to update the bylaws without taking a vote among the members as long as it is noted in the bylaws. Normally, a majority of homeowners want to have a voice in those changes. Prevent moments of frustration by learning about the bylaws and the voting process through the HOA website.
Posted on September 21, 2015 8:55 AM by HOA Sites
Without the homeowner association website, many potential residents would struggle to get the information they need to decide which place fits them the best. Whether you are buying for the first time or moving to a new neighborhood, the price of your new place is likely the most significant figure when calculating your monthly budget.
Occasionally, budget calculations fail to accurately account for one number that plays an important factor when it comes to living in a homeowners association or condo community. The HOA fees or condo fees can make a substantial impact when taking into account your current and long-term finances.
Assess Your Finances Properly
The first step in recognizing the impact of HOA fees or condo fees is to identify what is included in those fees. Especially for condo fees as they tend to be higher than homeowners association fees due to handling repairs and upkeep of the building. Higher condo fees can increase your monthly expenses unless those fees include other costs that are normally separate from homeowner’s association fees.
Comparatively, the HOA fees are lower which allows residents to have more of a selection when choosing a place. For a homeowner, the homeowner association website provides the most efficient way for residents to stay current so they assess fees that impact their short-term and long-term finances.
The Impact Of Fees
Generally, HOA fees differ substantially from condo fees so keep that in mind when calculating the monthly expenses and what you are able to afford. On occasion, the community fees mislead some individuals as they accept that they can only afford the same priced house as condo. Always consider the impact of the fees as they can be significant depending on the value and location of the home or condo. Residents that make wise financial decisions stay informed of the latest through the homeowner association website or condo website.
Posted on September 14, 2015 10:13 AM by HOA Sites
Advancements in technology have improved the way the community website is accessed and provided many homeowners with more eco-friendly options than ever before. As a homeowner, you may want to take advantage of those options to save energy and promote a healthier environment. In a majority of homeowners associations, there are limitations on what a homeowner can do when it comes to environmental choices that nearby neighbors will view on a daily basis.
Residents that implement environmentally friendly features to their homes typically save on energy use while improving the indoor quality of their home. Even though the initial investment is more, homes with environment-friendly designs have been estimated to save 25-30% on energy usage.
The most efficient ways of doing this are to use Energy Star appliances, implement solar panels, and use natural light when possible while having adequate shading to reduce the need for air conditioning. Generally, residents that are buying an existing home are limited as far as what they can do to make their home green. If a new home is being constructed, design features such as solar panels can be integrated from the beginning to lower energy costs as long as the homeowners association approves of it.
Will The Homeowners Association Approve?
Environmental changes are often noticed outside where some neighbors prefer to use chemicals on their lawn that are environmentally-safe or dry their clothes on a clothesline to lower energy use. A homeowners association may require that your lawn is well-maintained or forbid clothes to be hung outside then you may be forced to use different chemicals or dry your clothes inside.
If aspects such as this are important to you, take the time to become familiar with the HOA’s environmental practices. Regularly viewing the community website helps residents stay current about the environmental limitations as there could be a revision to a rule during a meeting.
Posted on September 10, 2015 9:22 AM by HOA Sites
In a homeowners association, there will be situations that may test your patience and each individual is affected differently depending on their personality. In particular, some homeowners dislike being told what to do as they view their home as one place they have the most freedom. After all, the homeowners association has the authority to make changes that you may not agree with so always consider your temperament.
Can The Homeowners Association Website Help?
For most, the homeowners association website is where the process starts of finding out about a particular homeowners association. Within a few minutes, you can get a good indication if the HOA is right for you or not. If there are areas that conflict with your personality, double check what options are available to you to lessen those frustrations or make the decision to avoid that homeowners association.
The allure of a dream home can cloud the judgment of a potential homeowner as the tendency is to think of the short-term advantages. Instead, think of the long-term advantages in relation to how the homeowners association rules and revisions could interfere with your life.
The Cost Of Your Attitude
As a resident, you should always live in accordance to the governing documents of the homeowners association to eliminate being fined. Ideally, a non-confrontational attitude is best as many issues can lead to fines if a resident fails to take the necessary steps to stop violating the HOA rules. For residents that may have a confrontational attitude, fines usually add up and become an annoyance that last until you move.
If a homeowner stays positive and complies, chances are greatly increased to resolve any disputes in a professional manner and refrain from moments of unprofessionalism. At the end of the day, no homeowner wants to be unprofessional as it can be a humiliating time whether you are new to the community or a long-time resident. Study the homeowners association website to lessen the odds of having a regretful experience with your HOA.
Posted on August 24, 2015 9:30 AM by HOA Sites
There are several aspects to cover when discussing homeowner’s association fees. Generally, many new homeowners will ask about the fees but neglect to be thorough or look to the HOA website for information regarding any increases or changes. This is an important part of making the decision if a particular homeowners association is right for you as financial changes often require unforeseen spending.
The History Of The Homeowners Association
Within each homeowners association, quarterly or yearly fees are part of living in a specific community and those fees are usually recorded. Over the course of time, those fees might increase and amenities that are covered such as pools, playgrounds, and garbage costs could be considered as additional. Track that as far back as possible to give you an idea of what to expect in the future.
If possible, try to retain the past ten years of multiple homeowners association fees in the area where you are planning to live and compare them with one another. Once you are able to do a comparison of dues and the amenities that are covered, you will have a better indication of what to expect of the homeowners association you have chosen to reside in.
Guarantee Financial Security
The fees that HOA residents pay is used to keep the homeowners association functioning efficiently and a portion of it goes to a reserve fund. General maintenance of amenities is possible due to a reserve fund that the homeowners association has in place. Without an adequate reserve fund, residents could be faced with two options which would be a substantial increase in fees or a special assessment.
Each option would require homeowners to pay a significant amount that they never intended to be a part of their budget. Suitably, most individuals find it unpleasant to make a sudden financial adjustment without any warning. The HOA website may differ from what is on record so take the time to find out about homeowners association fees prior to making a commitment.
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