Navigating HOAs and Covenants: What Every Homebuyer Should Know

Real Estate

Navigating HOAs and Covenants: What Every Homebuyer Should Know

Hello future homeowners!


I'm Deborah Morton, a seasoned realtor with Clareo Real Estate in Marietta, Georgia. Today, I want to guide you through an important aspect of homebuying: understanding Homeowners Associations (HOAs) and covenants. This is crucial information for anyone looking to buy a home, especially in neighborhoods governed by an HOA.


What is an HOA?


An HOA is an organization in a planned community that makes and enforces rules for the properties and residents. If you buy a home in an HOA-governed neighborhood, you'll automatically become a member and be required to pay dues, commonly known as HOA fees.


The Benefits


**Community Maintenance:** HOAs often provide amenities like pools, parks, and community spaces, and they take care of maintenance and landscaping.


**Property Values:** With rules in place to maintain the neighborhood's appearance, property values are often more stable in HOA communities.


The Challenges


**Restrictions:** HOAs have covenants and restrictions that can dictate everything from the color of your house to the type of mailbox you can have. 


**Legal Obligations:** As a member, you're legally bound to these rules. Non-compliance can lead to fines or legal action.


**Neighborhood Politics:** HOAs are run by boards, which can sometimes lead to neighborhood disputes or politics.


Due Diligence is Key


As a prospective buyer, it's your responsibility to understand these rules during the due diligence period. This is your time to review all HOA documents and understand your obligations. Once you purchase the home, you won't have recourse if you find the rules disagreeable.


The Role of HOAs in Home Sales


When selling a house in an HOA community, be aware that the HOA may hold the power to delay the sale. In Georgia, for example, you cannot transfer the title of a property without a clearance letter from the HOA. This is to ensure there are no outstanding dues or violations.


Final Thoughts


Purchasing a home in an HOA neighborhood means voluntarily agreeing to abide by its rules. It's a commitment that comes with both benefits and responsibilities. Always take the time to understand these before making your decision.


Remember, as your realtor, I'm here to help you navigate these waters. Feel free to reach out with any questions or for guidance on your home buying journey!


Best Wishes,

Deborah Morton

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