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What is an HOA?

On Behalf of | Jan 25, 2019 | Real Estate Transactions

When you are buying a home in Pennsylvania, you may come across homes that are in an HOA. HOA stands for homeowners association. According to Realtor.com, an HOA is an organization that helps manage and maintain common areas and public areas in a community. They are common with condos or houses in a gated community.

If you buy a home in an HOA, you must join the HOA. You have to sign and agree to the rules of the organization. This becomes a binding contract. In addition, you have to pay HOA fees. These can be monthly or annual fees that help the organization to get money to take care of common areas. The HOA keeps the money to make repairs or even add to the community. There may be a time when the HOA does not have enough money to handle a project. If this happens, you may have to pay additional money to cover the costs.

How much you pay in HOA fees usually depends on the size of your home. Costs vary greatly from one HOA to the next. The rules of the organization also very. An HOA may have rules on everything from what paint colors you can use on the outside of your home to whether you can park in your driveway. They can restrict pet ownership as well.

You should always learn as much as possible about the HOA before you buy a home and sign the contract agreeing to the HOA rules. If you do not follow the rules, the organization could evict you or foreclose on your home. This information is for education only. It is not legal advice.