Purchasing your first home can be very exciting, but it is important to take the time to make sure that you choose a home that will suit your family's needs now and in the years to come. One important factor to consider when searching for a home is whether or not the house is located in a neighborhood that has a Homeowner's Association. The guide below walks you through a few reasons why knowing if the neighborhood has an HOA is so important.
Limitations on What Can Be Done with Your Property
HOAs dictate what can and what cannot be done to your property to ensure that the neighborhood has uniformity. If you are someone who enjoys having a garden or wants to have chickens in your yard, it is important to check the bylaws closely before purchasing the home because there are some HOAs that do not allow livestock of any form and do not allow gardens to be grown because they can be an eyesore if the gardens are not properly weeded.
Limitations on What Can Be Stored on Your Property
Some HOAs restrict what items can be stored on your property. Campers and RVs are often not allowed to be stored in a neighborhood that has an HOA because they can serve as a space for additional people to live on your property without the permission of the HOA.
Limitations on What Can Be Added to Your Property
You may not be able to have fencing built on your property without getting permission from the HOA and there may be restrictions as to the material the fence has to be made from and how high it can be. Pools are also often regulated by HOAs to ensure that above ground pools that can be eyesores are not added to the neighborhood.
Limitations on What Changes Can Be Made to Your Home
An HOA can also dictate if you can add a sidewalk, driveway, or even change the color of your home. If the neighborhood has a uniform look to it, you may be limited to a small selection of colors for your home and a limited design layout for your sidewalk or driveway so that your home does not stick out from the other homes in the neighborhood.
To determine if the HOA for the neighborhood that you are considering has reasonable bylaws, you can ask to see a copy of the bylaws before agreeing to purchase the home. It is best to avoid the purchase of a property that is located in a neighborhood that has HOA bylaws that you do not agree with because it can be very difficult to have bylaws changed to suit your family's needs.