• David Cain

5 Big Myths About HOA's

Despite all the jokes, the truth is most people love living in a HOA. The goal of an Homeowners Association is to protect, preserve and enhance property values within its community.

While most people have a general idea of how HOA's work, there are many who don't fully understand the facts and myths of what an HOA is all about. Read on to learn FIVE of the biggest myths about Homeowner Associations.

  • HOA's Are All About the Money

A homeowners association does not exist simply to make more money off you. The funds collected help create a positive community image, maintain and create common areas like pools and courts, schedule services like trash disposal, pay maintenance workers and so much more. HOA's also set aside emergency funds for any unforeseen circumstances, like property damage due to a storm or act of god.

The HOA's board members are responsible for deciding the budget but it's important to understand that there is a reason why your community assessment fee is what it is. A community having higher HOA fees doesn't mean you should avoid living there. If you've found your dream home but notice a high HOA fee, this isn't always a negative sign. Usually, higher fees mean there are more amenities and services that your community offers. Conversely, very low fees could mean that your community wouldn't have the funds to cover emergency damages or large-scale projects. Always look into the HOA's fees and how the homeowners association allocates their budget.

  • All HOA's Are the Same

No two HOA's are exactly the same. Every association has its own rules, board members and amenities. Each HOA community is responsible for their own decisions and environment. Just because you had a bad experience with one HOA, doesn't mean your new HOA will offer the same experience. An HOA board that works well together and provides clear communication will be able to resolve issues and respond quickly and efficiently.

  • The HOA Controls Everything

Just because your community is governed by an HOA doesn't mean you don't have any power. Although board members are elected by the community at large, everyone in the community has a right to know what's going on as well as the right to express their opinions. If a large group of residents disagree with something, they can sway the board's decision. Keep in mind that there are certain meetings that the public can't sit in. Particularly when they pertain to sensitive issues involving specific homeowners. Attending meetings and getting involved is a great way to ensure you have a more influential impact on the decisions that are made within your community.

  • HOA Rules Cannot Be Changed

Contrary to popular belief, the rules enforced by HOA's are not set in stone. Many rules have been in governing documents for decades and their main purposes still hold true. However, there are some rules that may no longer make sense or rules that might be more fair for some residents than others. If your part of an HOA, it is your right to raise concerns and make suggestions for a more fair, unified system. After a board hearing, property owners can submit a written request to amend or remove certain rules. The board will then review it independently and come to a conclusion. Great board members also take the time to periodically review their bylaws to ensure everything is still relevant and fair to all homeowners.

  • Management Companies Replace Board Members

In many cases, board members choose to elect the services of a third party management company like DTA Community Management. Community management companies exist because they can leverage technology and tools that streamline operations for homeowners associations; not replace them. What if your HOA wants a more efficient way to deal with violations or is trying to the accounting process less time consuming? Management companies have the experience, tools and technology to make all the responsibilities that HOA's deal with easier to handle. So your board can focus on improving your community, instead of drowning in the details.

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