Homeowners Associations – What You Should Know
Homeowners Associations are also known as Common Interest
Communities. Some homeowners prefer owning in them. They provide
a sense of stability and security. If you want a luxury home in a guardgated community, expect an Association.
For other homeowners, an HOA can feel like your parents are still telling
you what you can and cannot do. There’s also the matter of the monthly
A few things you should know Homeowners
Associations Find out what you’re buying into before you buy! NV State law mandates that sellers must provide a copy of the
Homeowners Association Documents. This includes the Rules & Regulations, Bylaws, Financials, etc. The copy should be
current with minutes from recent board meetings included.
At the peak of the foreclosure flood, banks got tired of paying the $200-$300 fees for HOA Resale Packages. They started
insisting that buyers pay for the HOA package themselves. They often agreed to reimburse the buyer at successful close of
escrow. Luckily, the NV State Legislature took action. Now the seller has to provide the documents at the seller’s expense.
Once ordered, Homeowner’s Associations have 10 days to provide the current copy of the documents. Selling? You or your
agent should order the documents as soon as you have accepted the offer.
Homeowners Associations can and do have the ability to foreclose . There
have been lots of complaints about collection agencies HOAs use for overdue fees.
The collection agencies can tack on their own fees and a few hundred dollars may
turn into $4000. Each Association has their own policies for collecting past due
accounts and at what point they will foreclose. Any Homeowner’s Association can
foreclose under the right conditions.
Buyers have five days to review and accept/reject the CIC package . Once
you receive the documents, review them. If you find something that you cannot
live with, you may cancel the deal based on the issue. Things you should review
include the HOA’s reserves and their budgets. Make sure there are no rules that
you cannot follow. A common rule prohibits parking commercial vehicles on the
streets. If you have your own business with signs on a van that doesn’t fit in the garage, this could be a deal breaker. It’s much
better that you discover what you can and cannot do before you own the home.
Rules and Regulations – Each Association has their own set of rules
which can change over time. Common Things that HOAs can control
include the colors you can paint the exterior of your home. Some HOAs
will take care of the front landscaping but most don’t. We often hear
from owners when they get fined because a plant or shrub has died.
The HOA controls where you can park other than inside your closed
garage. Some limit how long you can leave your garage door open.
They state what days and times you can put garbage on the street for
pick-up and what containers you can use for it. Some state how fast you
can drive through the community and can give tickets for speeding.
Rent restrictions have become popular in some associations. Pet
owners will want to check for any limits or restrictions on the type and
number of pets allowed. Not all associations have rules for each of
these issues but many do. That is why you need to read the documents.
Fees are subject to change! When you review the HOA documents,
pay attention to the budgets and reserves. Does the Association have a
cushion for emergency repairs to the security gate? Does it look like the
monthly income covers the monthly expense? Under what circumstances can the Board of Directors increase the monthly fee?
Read the minutes from the Board meetings. Have they been discussing an increase in rates? Is the Board considering a repair
project that might result in higher fees or assessments? Most Associations have leeway for minor fee increases.
What if you have a disagreement with the HOA? This is a question we’ve heard a lot. You should call the HOA and/or their
management company if you have questions about fines or letters you receive from them. If the issue isn’t resolved, there is a
State office where you can file a complaint. It’s the Ombudsman for Homeowner’s Associations.
Homeowners Associations – What You Should Know
Homeowners Associations work to maintain and improve home values within the community. Just remember, your neighbors
have to follow the rules too. It ensures that other homes on your street are well maintained and you won’t have an eyesore next
door. A well maintained community is desirable and property values will reflect it. Communities like Summerlin or Green
Valley show that Associations help maintain values.
Don’t want to pay a monthly fee? Don’t want to live under an Association’s prying eyes? We can find you homes that are not
governed by an Association.
This article is courtesy of Debbie Drummond, a top Las Vegas Realtor. For more info, call (702)354-6900 or email