New construction means new home smells. No one ever walked on the carpets with their dirty feet. A brand new subdivision with clean concrete driveways. After the emotional high, you have questions for the first homeowners association (HOA) meeting.
A new community is often created by a developer. A limited number of occupied homes may result in promised amenities, not yet completed. New infrastructure and noisy construction may be still in the process. A new homeowner association changes as it grows.
The newly created HOA is often comprised of the developer and their personnel. Let’s face it, before the first home is built, the initial “rules” are created by the developer and team. It takes time to finish the task of constructing your neighbor’s homes. The by laws, covenants and deed restrictions, which should have been given to each buyer, will specifically state the “who is who” and directive actions and requirements. It should state how often an HOA meeting will be held.
If you have never lived in a subdivision with homeowner association requirements, there is a learning curve. If the developer still retains the majority on the board of directors, this company is still financing monuments, amenities – such as swimming pools, club houses, landscaping, running trails, play areas, etc. If the community will comprise of 750 homes upon completion, the homeowner association dues should be calculated to sustain the current subdivision financial needs. Until that point in time, roads, street lights, sidewalks, green spaces, tennis courts and/or other planned amenities must still be funded. The first residents must exhibit patience with the process.
The homeowner association board of directors is not a landlord entity. They are not responsible for crime prevention, out of warranty repair claims, neighbor disputes, street parking or loiterers. The HOA is responsible for what is specifically written in the covenants and deed restrictions. Out of kindness, the community developer can create a “Neighborhood Crime Watch” and erect signs. Again, this is out of the generosity of their own funds to erect signs and provide guidance and direction for setting up a committee. An HOA meeting is not the time and place to bring up neighbor disputes because you don’t like the type of utilitarian vehicles parked in your neighbor’s driveway unless the covenants and deed restrictions prohibit the action.
Study and read your subdivisions by laws, covenants and deed restrictions verbatim. If there is an opening for a new director on the HOA board, you have a chance to be elected to participate in future decisions for your community. The rules and regulations will assist with maintaining property values, preserve the aesthetics of where you live and provide your home with the same or better environment you purchased it with.
Your questions and comments are always welcome.
Copyright 2015 A. Peto-Selby, Realtor® All Rights Reserved.