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Association Management Concepts may collect and use User’s personal information for the following purposes:
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Users may find advertising or other content on our Site that link to the sites and services of our partners, suppliers, advertisers, sponsors, licensors and other third parties. We do not control the content or links that appear on these sites and are not responsible for the practices employed by websites linked to or from our Site. In addition, these sites or services, including their content and links, may be constantly changing. These sites and services may have their own privacy policies and customer service policies. Browsing and interaction on any other website, including websites which have a link to our Site, is subject to that website’s own terms and policies.
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By using this Site, you signify your acceptance of this policy. If you do not agree to this policy, please do not use our Site. Your continued use of the Site following the posting of changes to this policy will be deemed your acceptance of those changes.
Association Management Concepts, Inc.
1401 El Camino Avenue, Suite 200
Sacramento, CA 95815
This document was last updated on July 23, 2013.
As you find yourself scouring the web for your first home, you may have noticed that HOAs are growing more and more common in the housing market every year. If you are not particularly familiar with Homeowners Associations, you might perform a quick search only to find a list of “most common” search terms on Google. Common searches like “Why is an HOA bad?” or “Can you refuse to sign an HOA?”
Despite the nefarious implications that come with these more common inquiries, the fact of the matter is that HOAs were specifically created to protect the monetary value of your investment. When residential neighborhoods fall into disrepair, your home will begin to lose its value even if the deteriorating property in question belongs to someone else. It would truly be a shame for your home to lose its resale value, especially after having spent years working, saving, and building your credit so you can begin the process of buying a new home in the first place.
We want to do everything in our power to protect your investments. We remember how intimidating it can be to research such topics on your own, especially when you’ve already done so much work to save and build and grow your net worth as a homeowner.
You Are an Active Member of the HOA Community
What exactly does it mean to be an “active member” of your local HOA? Surely if you purchase a property of your own, that means you can go about your business and never talk to your neighbors, right?
As it happens, that is not how things work.
If you choose to live in a community run and managed by a Homeowners Association, you are legally required to uphold the standards you agreed to by joining that community. Your neighbors are encouraged to watch out for each other, which includes reporting any deviant or suspicious activity that occurs within the neighborhood. In addition to the ever-popular Neighborhood Watch, you will also have the option of volunteering to assist your HOA’s Board of Directors, or you may opt to run for the Board yourself someday.
However, not everyone wants to play an active role in the well-being of the neighborhood they call “home.” Some prefer not to be bothered by their neighbors, and that is perfectly fine. But, if you are interested in living in a visibly safe, clean, and close-knit community, an HOA might be precisely what you are looking for.
State Your Expectations
We get it. The clock is ticking, and you want to place a bid on that dream home before anyone else can come and claim it. When you make an offer, please be sure to state your expectations clearly. Do not assume you are on the same page with your realtor.
If you have not had a chance to read the community guidelines for the property in question, we highly recommend that you get it in writing. This is the best way to protect your investments, and you can do this when you submit your bid by stating that you “have not yet reviewed all of the HOA rules, and that you require a full copy of the CC&R to be delivered within 48 hours.” This alone will save you so much heartache if your bid is accepted and you need time to review the details in full before officially closing the deal.
Every HOA Community is Different
This often goes without saying, but you would be surprised at how often this is overlooked in the homebuying process. Even if you have previously lived in an HOA community, we implore you to remember that the rules may be different in every community.
Ask your real estate agent for a full copy of the legal documents associated with the property, also known as CC&Rs, which is a fancy acronym for Covenants, Conditions, & Restrictions. The home itself will, of course, be yours to call home - but try to think of it as “yours*” with a huge emphasis on the asterisk. The asterisk, in this case, represents the rules and community guidelines of the HOA.
Read Those CC&Rs
Say your spouse wants to paint the front door bright red. Do the CC&Rs clearly state that this color will be permitted in the community? Perhaps you want to install a basketball hoop above the garage? Add a pool? Maybe even rip out the front lawn and turn it into an edible garden! Well, this is where we remind you that most HOAs do not permit external alterations of neighborhood property. If you wish to get approval for such things, you must get written approval from your HOA’s Board of Directors.
Though this may sound a tad excessive, we advise you to think of it like this: It is the HOA’s responsibility to protect the value of their members’ investments by checking in to make sure that everyone is abiding by the rules they consented to when they joined the HOA in the first place. When your neighbor allows their home to fall into disrepair, it will inevitably cause the monetary value of the neighborhood to drop. Even if you took immaculate care of your home from the start, your investment would still suffer, and there would be nothing you could do to fix this.
HOAs were created to protect the investments of the community as a whole, and as such, you will sometimes find reminders in your inbox if maintenance may be required. It is your responsibility, as the homeowner, to follow up on these reminders as well.
Review Rental Restrictions
Consider how long you will want to live in this house. Are you looking for your dream home? Hoping to sublet one of the rooms? Well, before you close the deal with your realtor, we advise you yet again to read your chosen property’s CC&Rs in full to ensure that the HOA fully aligns with the hopes you have for the future at that community.
Many HOAs do not allow subletters and third-party rentals. There are many more that specifically prohibit certain breeds of dog, number of residents, volume after dark - and it can be different in every community. It is your responsibility as the homeowner to abide by these rules, and to correct any violations if they are reported to the HOA.
One example would be a request from the HOA to repaint your house within 30 days. If you were to find this reminder in your inbox, do not run down to Lowe’s in the hopes of picking up a can of paint that looks “close enough” to the color of your home. Do not assume anything. Instead, send a sample to the HOA for approval so they will know that you care enough to check in with your community before taking action. Doing this will help you to build a rapport with your fellow members, while preventing your home from being heavily fined for violating the rules you agreed to when you joined the HOA community.
We seriously cannot express to you enough the importance of reading and understanding all of the CC&Rs before joining an HOA. Do not overlook this step.
We are conceived with one paramount idea in mind: to create and develop an association management firm which would consistently deliver premium quality services to homeowners associations throughout northern California.