Home Owners Associations (HOA’s) are the organization of property owners typically in a condominium complex that administers the rules and regulations of that community. Covenants, declarations and by-laws are used to enforce certain standards of the community, to keep the project maintained, and to prevent property values from falling. Rules are made and enforced by the HOA in relation to property owner conduct, pet policies, common areas such as pools and other amenities.

Here are 4 tips for same sex couples and Home Owners Associations.

1.         Before purchasing, ask your gay real estate agent for a copy of the rules and regulations or Codes, Covenants and Restrictions, CCRs. Review carefully to make sure that you are comfortable living by the rules. For example, if you have four pets but the rules only allow you to have two, are you willing to find other homes for two of your pets?

2.         Request a copy of the HOA financials. Ensure they are well funded, including; plenty of money in reserves for roof replacements, parking lot repaving, etc. Also what it the monthly budget vs. monthly revenue… is everyone up to date and paying their HOA dues?

3.         Read the community meeting minutes for current business and projects. Any mention of special assessments coming up? Special assessments are funds that are needed by the HOA for unexpected expenses or extraordinary repairs. They get that money by charging each homeowner with a portion of the cost = this “assessment” (monthly payment) is in addition to your normal HOA dues.

4.         Talk to your potential neighbors. This is an excellent way to get a feel for people living in the community. This is especially important for same sex couples – make sure you feel welcomed.

Living in a condominium community that is governed by an HOA can be great for maintaining your property values and having someone else take care of the community amenities.

These tips can help you avoid bad HOAs that can end up costing you a lot of money and stress. More importantly, an experienced local gay real estate agent can represent your best interests in purchasing in a condominium community. Expert negotiation and representation at no cost to you! Start a conversation today with an agent you choose at www.GayRealEstate.com