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What can homeowner associations regulate?

If you are looking to buy a new home, there are lots of styles of homes to choose from these days. Whether you are looking for a condominium, a plot of land or even a nice family neighborhood, there are lots of options to suit just about any type of buyer. When looking for a home in a neighborhood, it's important to know that some neighborhoods, and other types of housing, are subject to homeowner association regulations. These regulations could impact the buyer greatly.

Homeowner associations are put in place to restrict and maintain neighborhoods or other common housing so that the owners and neighbors know what to expect of themselves and others. Homeowner associations can monitor and regulate a number of issues, including pets, exterior structures and appearance, noise or even home-based business. They also often charge a monthly or annual fee in accordance with community amenities or administrative fees. Understandably, purchasing a home monitored by a homeowner association is vastly different than non-regulated communities.

For some buyers, the homeowner association factor is a positive or neutral aspect of home-buying. But, for others, it can be very problematic, especially if it regulates what kind of business a person can regulate within their home and if it prohibits conducting business out of their home. Some homeowner associations have been known to charge expensive fees. Oftentimes, a home within a certain neighborhood is automatically included in the association and these fees would be in addition to mortgages or other expenses.

Entering into a real estate transaction that includes homeowner association responsibilities can require special considerations by the buyer of such property. If the homeowner association interferes greatly with a homeowner's daily life, there could be a real estate dispute later on down the line. It's better to be aware of any issues that could arise and be prepared.

Source: realestate.findlaw.com, "What Homeowners Associations May Regulate," Accessed October 16, 2017

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