The goal of living in an area with community association management in place is to maintain high property values and make sure that your community is an enjoyable place to live. Don’t take your homeowners association for granted. Your HOA is a non-profit mutual benefit corporation that establishes guidelines to promote property value increases over time.
By understanding what your HOA does and the role they play on your behalf, you can better understand the value you receive from living in an association. Here’s how to get the most out of being a member of an HOA.
Take advantage of the services offered by your HOA
Neighborhoods with community association management benefit from services and amenities that most non-HOA communities lack. These include things like events, a clubhouse or other public event spaces, pools, spas, sporting equipment, security services, landscape maintenance and more. These services and amenities are yours–use them!
Understand the association’s responsibilities vs. your own
Part of the advantage of living in an association is that the HOA is responsible for common area maintenance that ultimately benefits you. Read your community’s governing documents and familiarize yourself with where your responsibility ends and your HOA’s begins. Make sure you’re not paying for things that your association is prepared to handle.
Understand reasons for enforcement
Community association management is not in place to make your life tough. In fact, it’s the opposite. To protect your property values, your HOA establishes a shared set of rules that make sure your community is a safe, attractive, and inviting place to live. Infraction notices encouragement residents to maintain standards that result in a positive impact on the entire community.
From volunteering to be part of a sub-committee to getting to know your neighbors better at community events, you can participate directly in the value of your HOA. At the very least, attend board meetings so you get a better understanding of the issues facing your community and how your community association management board makes decisions.
Take greater ownership over the association
Remember, this is YOUR community. If you think you can improve its direction, run for a seat on the board of directors. As a member of the association, you have the right to run. Your enthusiasm and expertise might be exactly what your association needs.
Communicate with your management company
Your community management company works for you. They are available to answer your questions–about the community itself or the mechanics of the association. Managers love interacting with residents directly, so feel free to call your manager and introduce yourself. Your manager is a fantastic resource who is there to assist you.
Read your governing documents
Every HOA has a set of governing documents in place that includes rules & regulations, bylaws and covenants, conditions & restrictions (CC&Rs). These documents outline the responsibilities and managerial processes of your community. These documents are available to you by right. Review your governing documents to gain a better understanding of all the time and work that has already gone into establishing guidelines that help your community thrive.
If you don’t look closely, it can be easy to underestimate the value you receive from community association management. Attractive neighborhoods and well-maintained amenities can be taken for granted when they seem to be a given. But this level of organization doesn’t happen on its own. Community involvement, member participation, and support from your management company are all in place to make sure you receive maximum benefit from living in an HOA– both on a daily basis and when you prepare to sell your property.