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March 25, 2015

Homeowner’s Associations - Helping Your Community Thrive!

Many prospective buyers who haven’t lived in planned communities before may be surprised to find out that when they purchase a residence in one, they will be working with a unique and beneficial organization designed to help them live a safer, more productive and improved lifestyle. It’s their Homeowner’s Association. Some movies, television shows and books portray homeowner’s associations as controlling, limiting and yes…almost evil entities bent on suppressing the natural diversity and charm of their communities. However, nothing could be farther from the truth. The homeowner’s association in your community has many different objectives, and their work is both crucial and advantageous to the residents of the neighborhood. So, what exactly is a homeowner’s association? It’s a non-profit group that’s in charge of setting and enforcing rules called "The Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions", or CC&R’s. These rules help govern and protect the residents of the community. Homeowner’s associations, or HOA’s, came into being after 1963, when the Federal Housing Administration was actively encouraging city residents to move to the suburbs. The associations were designed to make suburban living more appealing to discerning residents. HOA’s made their communities more appealing to potential residents for several reasons. First of all, the rules set often ensure that the outward appearance of the community is maintained, which increases the value of each home in the area. You don’t often see peeling paint, overgrown lawns or debris littering the yard in neighborhoods with an HOA. In addition, the fees paid to the HOA often include helpful amenities such as trash pickup, lawn care and maintenance of common areas such as a swimming pool, playground, park, ball field or walking trails. HOA’s can also provide gated entrances, security patrols and essential fixes to sidewalks and roads that are not maintained by the county or state government. HOA’s are also organizations that are dedicated to enriching the social aspects of each resident’s life. They’re ideal for settling disputes between neighbors. For instance, if your neighbor’s son and his friends practice the drums – loudly – in their garage late into the night, you can approach the HOA anonymously about the problem and they can handle it, without causing any friction between neighbors. HOA’s also serve as catalysts for neighborhood interaction. Block parties, holiday parties, group barbeques and other community-based activities are planned and carried out by the members of the HOA. The better you know your neighbors, the more you will enjoy your environment, and the happier you will be in your home. Today, many HOA’s have their own websites, which are full of important, useful information for community residents. Calendars of events, meeting minutes, notices of road closings, repairs or other detours and financial statements may be included. Announcements can be distributed in a timely and inexpensive manner via the website, and residents can often reserve common amenities for their own use at any time of the day or night. Do you need all the tennis courts on the 15th for a tournament? Request them online! How about the club house for a birthday party on the 29th? It’s yours to claim at 3am! The HOA where you live can be a valuable resource, so don’t hesitate to get involved! Many of the communities where you can find Ernest Signature Custom Homes have one, and these organizations make us even more confident that the new construction you purchase from us in the Savannah, GA area will be the perfect home for you!

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