Purchasing a home in a homeowners association means that you need to play by their rules and that like not be something you want to adhere to so it's important to understand those rules and bylaws before finalizing the sale. Typically, if you're considering a home in an association you can ask for the CC & R's ahead of time, often before even making an offer. These are the conditions, covenants, and restrictions of the Association that all homeowners or condo unit owners must adhere to. Here are 20 things you might not like about living in a homeowners association.
#1. Pet restrictions.
HOAs may restrict the type of pet you are allowed, the number of pets, and weight restrictions.
#2. The garage door must be left open.
This is an unusual one but there are some homeowners association that require garages to be left open, even if you're not there to prevent people from living in the garage.
#3. Curb appeal and plant restrictions.
Some homeowners associations restrict the type of plants they allow for the front yard. Hedges may only be a certain height, and you must keep your yard looking consistent with the rest of the lots.
#4. Parking restrictions.
Some associations restrict what can sit in your driveway. You may not be able to have a boat in the driveway, and RV, or even other vehicles. You must utilize the garage so this is an important thing to understand.
#5. Trash limits.
Many associations require homeowners to store their trash cans, recycle, and/or compost out of the way when it's not trash pickup.
#6. Holiday decorations.
You may be restricted on the type of holiday decorations or Christmas lights you are allowed.
#7. Required home improvement workdays.
Some associations won't allow homeowners to carry out home improvement projects on the weekend and this might even include painting, clearing out gutters, or pressure washing your driveway.
#8. Restrictions on paint color.
Many associations require homeowners to get their paint choice approved from the Association before painting your entire house the color of your choice.
#9. No outbuildings.
Some developments restrict how many outbuildings, sheds, barns, or even garden sheds are allowed on the property.
#10. No street parking.
Even if you have a party, some associations restrict street parking.
#11. No deviation from the rest of the homes.
Many HOAs restrict any decorations, home improvements, or exterior alterations that differ from each house. They may require all homes to look alike.
#12. No signs.
And this includes real estate signs as well.
#13. No rentals.
Some associations restrict how many homeowners are allowed to rent out their property. Some may not allow any rentals at all.
#14. No outdoor recreational equipment.
Some associations restrict trampolines, swimming pools, hot tubs, or even visible bikes to be seen from the road.
#15. No smoking.
Some associations have rules about smoking including recreational marijuana and cigarettes.
#16. No open window blinds.
It's rare but I have seen a homeowner association community that does not allow the residents to open their street-facing blinds inside their home because it may disrupt the beauty of the community.
#17. No car washing.
Some associations could have rules restricting homeowners from washing or even waxing their own cars in their driveways.
#18. Parking restrictions.
You may have rules and restrictions on where you can park, when you can park, and even what type of vehicles to Park.
#19. You may have to pay for delinquent accounts.
Those that have not paid their dues may get off Scott free while the other homeowners pay the difference.
#20. Special assessment fees.
Associations may tack on a special assessment fee to homeowner dues if there's something major that needs to be purchased and there are not enough reserves.
The point is, verify that these rules exist, ask questions, and make sure the Association is healthy in its reserve.