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By Ryan Platzke:
Homeowner’s associations, better known as HOAs, are becoming more and more popular as we head into 2019. But for many of us, we think of HOAs as a mystery at best, and power-crazed, expensive dictators at worst. So what’s the truth? If you’re considering a townhome, single-family home, or condo that comes with an HOA, you want to make sure you’re fully informed. This week, we answer some of the most common questions associated with joining an HOA.

What are HOAs?

HOAs are neighborhood-based organizations that deal with the upkeep of common areas, and who establish and enforce the standards for what counts as acceptable behavior within the neighborhood. Each HOA will vary on how they approach these goals. Some are extremely active while others are considerably more relaxed.

Most HOAs are run by a board. To get a good idea of the general vibe of an HOA, attend a board meeting and see how they discuss and act on their rules. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

Where do my HOA fees go?

First and foremost, the upkeep of common areas: mowing grass, shoveling snow, maintaining streets, cleaning up fallen branches after storms, etc. Depending on city and state laws, HOAs may even impact trash collection as well as water and sewer services. In single-family neighborhoods, HOAs may manage swimming pools, tennis courts, or other perks. In regards to condominiums, your fees may be put towards building upkeep, elevators, and other infrastructure that effects all residents.

Again, specifics can be answered by your HOA, so be sure to reach out and ask.

What can HOAs regulate? How do they enforce these regulations?

What HOAs regulate will vary from association to association. To have a clear idea of what kinds of maintenance and standards your HOA expects, be sure to read your agreement carefully before signing.

How standards are enforced will be impacted and limited by both state and local laws.When you move into a neighborhood, sign your contract, and pay your fees, you are legally agreeing to your HOAs terms and conditions. Again, if you have any concerns, bring it up with the HOA board in your area.

If you’re looking for a new home—with or without an HOA involved—and not sure where to start, the agents at Helgeson Platzke are standing by and ready to take your call.Contact us today! We’ll get you started on the right foot on your homebuying journey.

At Helgeson Platzke Real Estate Group, we are proud to be a member of Eden Prairie’s esteemed small business community.Since 1995, we’ve offered the very best in Twin Cities real estate, earning our community’s trust as the #1 Sales Team in the Eden Prairie area. With over 4,500 homes sold, our staff has both the knowledge and experience necessary to ensure that your home ownership goals are delivered. So, if you’re considering buying or selling your Eden Prairie area home this summer, now is the time to enlist the help of a real estate professional who can help you make the most of this season’s extraordinary market.