If you are looking to buy a single-family home, townhouse or condominium in North Carolina, chances are good that your new home will come with a homeowners’ association, or HOA. These associations are private entities that create and enforce rules for the community they govern for the purpose of maintaining community standards and property values for residents. Most buyers know that HOAs can levy fees, enforce rules and create restrictions for residents, but there are some things that HOAs can do that buyers might not know about. Read on to learn three things you may not have known your HOA could do, so you can decide for yourself if living in a community with an HOA is right for you.
HOAs Can Foreclose on Liens on Your Home
Paying HOA dues and fees may not seem like a big deal but ignoring or not paying these costs can cause homeowners a lot of headaches in the long run. For residents who are late on dues or who ignore fines, homeowners’ associations can place liens on the home, and even foreclose on those liens. This foreclosure can occur even if you are current on your mortgage payments, so it is important for owners to keep up with their HOA dues.
Your Association Can Keep You from Renting Your Home
With home costs still soaring, many homeowners might be looking into the prospect of renting out all or part of their home to supplement income. However, before you do so, it is important to check the HOA rules and bylaws to make sure that renting is allowed. This is because many communities want to maintain a certain percentage of owner versus renter occupied homes, and there are certain security concerns that may come with renting or subletting. Before you rent out all or part of your home, check your bylaws to make sure you won’t run afoul of regulations.
Your HOA Can Cramp Your Style
Many North Carolina home buyers purchase their homes because of the freedom it affords over renting, however, if you live in a home with an HOA, there can be certain restrictions on things like landscaping, exterior décor and seasonal and holiday decorations. Many associations have rules on how long seasonal decorations can stay up before and after a holiday, and if you don’t follow the rules, you can expect a letter from your HOA.
There are many pros and cons to living in a community with a homeowners’ association, and it’s up to you to decide whether living with an HOA is right for you. To learn more about homeowners’ associations, how they can make your community a better place to live and what they can provide homeowners, check out HOA 101.
Learn more about all the ways the NC Housing Finance Agency can help make home ownership happen for you at www.HousingBuildsNC.com.