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The Pros & Cons of Living in HOA Communities

Updated: Jul 31, 2019

In Nevada, all Common Interest Communities (CIC’s) are required to form and maintain a Home Owner’s Association (HOA). The HOA has two main functions: 1) To enforce the Conditions, Covenants & Restrictions (CC&R’s) of the community. 2) To manage the finances and to maintain the land, improvements and amenities held in common by the individual homeowners.

The extent of the property held in common and monthly maintenance fees levied by the association varies. With some condominiums the entire building is owned by the association while the individual owners simply own air-space. In many attached town-home style communities the individual homeowner technically owns the home and the ground it sits on while the association maintains the exterior paint and roof. When it comes to single-family detached homes in a CIC it’s all about common area and amenities. That is also a big variable and common area can range from simple landscape strips to pools, security gates and private roads. That fact itself is a big qualifier for buyers; why pay a monthly fee for a pool and clubhouse if you’re not going to use them? Other considerations for buying a home in a Common Interest Community include:

· The rules and regulations will absolutely govern the use and enjoyment of your home: Both a Pro and Con depending on your point of view. Who doesn’t like to see entire neighborhoods with exterior paint, fencing and landscape in uniformly good condition? On the other hand, you may find that even a temporary basketball hoop is prohibited in that same neighborhood.

· The Association Fees may go up and they never go away: Even simple improvements such as paths and landscaping tend to require more routine maintenance as they age. You should also know that in Nevada, HOA fees are considered a priority lien. It is feasible for an association to foreclose on a home in order to collect unpaid fees.

· Home Owner’s Associations are mostly run by… Well… Homeowners: Nevada HOA’s are guided by very explicit rules themselves. However, as is the case with many volunteer groups in positions of authority, associations tend to adopt the personality of their leadership. As the composition of the HOA board changes over time so will its’ interpretation of the rules and performance guidelines. CIC homeowners should remain informed if not involved in the activities of their HOA.

Many Common Interest Communities are quite strict, while others can be liberal. If you're looking for new construction you'll find that most "new" homes are in HOA's. In every case HOA’s are responsible for enforcing the community CC&R’s and Bylaws to maintain a certain standard of living for current residents. To an extent that oversight creates consistency which can be an insurance policy benefiting desirability and future home values.

A knowledgeable agent can really help you navigate the best option for you and your family.

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