Let’s start with the basic questions, Do you know what a Homeowners Association (HOA) is and what its duties are? Most importantly, do you know the role it plays in Real Estate?
As a definition, a HOA is a non-profit organization within a planned residential community that projects and protects the vision of the founders, stewarding the community by making and enforcing rules to ensure continued value and owner representation in key issues. It is recommended that it becomes a legal entity in order to have legal personality to represent the assembly and dutifully apply its law and collect dues. Typically, a HOA is run by a manager who is in charge of the administration of the treasury, maintenance of common areas, security, payment of utility bills and more. This management is appointed by a Homeowners Board that oversees and approves changes, budget and improvements among the community. Therefore, by investing on a real estate property with an efficient and well-managed HOA, you are assuring that your investment value stays strong.
The following are six HOA/Community key elements to consider whenever purchasing real estate:
1. First and foremost, make sure the property you are interested in is in good standing with the HOA and with its fees currently up to date. If that is not the case, this is an important factor to evaluate; your real estate advisor can help you negotiate curing its past due payments out of the property’s purchase price if necessary.
2. Learn the HOA regulations. From construction and improvement specifications to noise policy and visitors arrival, read the rules so you know if it is something you are OK and can easily comply with.
3. Drive around the community and observe for yourself if the streets are clean, green areas well-kept and what is the look and feel of the homes/condos and common areas. Is there security? Were they courteous to you? Remember, all these elements are a direct reflection of a well administered community.
4. HOA dues. Whether monthly or yearly, learn about these dues and what services and amenities these cover. Are there any discounts for early payment? How are the overall finances? How is their increase set?
5. Contingency plan. Is there a plan for an emergency or a natural event, such a hurricane or flood? To what end can the HOA help you?
6. Is the developer personally involved in the HOA? Do they have homes in the community to ensure they share in the benefits and participate in resolving any challenges?
I can relate to the importance of a HOA benefiting not only the property values, but how you feel at home. The HOA at Pedregal de Cabo San Lucas has always been responsive and attentive; just last year after hurricane Odile, Pedregal’s HOA, some residents and the Diaz Rivera family, collaborated to bring the community together and, through a nonprofit project founded by the latter, made sure that its security guards, gardeners and maintenance personnel were safe and secure in their own homes so they could focus since day one on cleaning up the streets, removal of debris and helping each resident feel secure at home. Throughout all these years, it has been an important pillar of the success of the community as a whole.
Just remember, a homeowners association directed by a caring and cooperative administrator, overseen by a good Board will keep your community values and appreciation protected.
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