Lots of communities built since the early 1980s are governed by HOA rules and regulations controlling not only the “look” of the community as well as posting all the dos and don’ts for residents. Many home buyers assume that only condominium communities have HOA’s and ignore their opportunity during the contract phase allowing review of the documents.
I have often told buyers most HOA’s don’t allow goats, chickens, and other farmyard creatures. So if you are planning on your own hen house- be very careful where your buy a home.
Most HOA’s regulate the height of fences, restrict above-ground pools, don’t allow storage sheds, and won’t allow residents to park motor homes and/or boats on the property for more than 1 or 2 days. Some HOA’s also restrict exterior colors and have control over outside design.
So while having an HOA may be a good thing -not taking time to review all the documents during the contract period is a dumb thing.
Typically the purchase contract spells out the number of days buyers have to review and accept the HOA documents. Unfortunately, some buyers don’t read and digest the information and after closing find themselves in trouble when they install the wrong type of fencing or try to build a storage shed in the backyard.
Your agent cannot explain the details for the documents to you so take the time to review the documents and if you have questions -consult an attorney.
If you are looking for an exemption – for example, your dog is 5 lbs heavier than the condo complex allows or you need handrails installed on the front porch make sure to get in writing from the HOA. Protect your investment and don’t accept verbal agreements from anybody.