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Those who live in areas with HOA, please responde!!

I am about to buy a home in an area with a HOA and have read some about it by looking it up on the net. Wanted some feed back about if you like it or don't, is it that good to have? I will pay cash for my home, but it says if you are late with HOA dues they can put a lien on it and foreclose on that true? Please tell me anything you know from I don't make a mistake....I like a nice area and pretty lawns but I don't want someone telling me I can't do this or that, even in my own backyard.


Asked by stayhomemom22 at 10:08 AM on Oct. 29, 2008 in Home & Garden

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Answers (9)
  • Yes these answers are correct. What you owe or who you owe to on your home has nothing to do with the HOA. When you purchase a home in that neighborhood or any neighborhood with an HOA, you are automatically entering into a contract. It might even say that in your real estate contract. You are agreeing to abide by their rules of governing. Not all of them are strict, but there are some tht have very odd rules. They can tell you what color to paint your home or if you can build a fence. They can fine you for not mowing your grass or whatever they deem worthy. Generally you get a warning beforehand so that you can correct the problem. If you don't, they can fine you and if these fines are not paid, then YES, they can file a lein on your home and it has to go through a process,but if not rectified, then it can go into foreclosure. I think I would be looking over the rules before I bought a house.

    Answer by momofsaee at 12:04 PM on Oct. 29, 2008

  • Yes, the HOA can, and will, put a lien on your property. I worked in mortgages for several years, and it was rare, but we did see it now and then. They can also issue rules such as no sheds allowed, must cut your grass, how long trash cans can sit at the curb, etc. Usually, they are not a big deal, though. We have one...we pay the bill once a year and that's all we ever hear from them.

    Answer by StarrMom2Xander at 10:41 AM on Oct. 29, 2008

  • We have HOA's in our neighborhood. In fact, every subdivision we looked in had HOA's. I have a garden in my backyard. And we put up a shed back there. They have never looked in my back yard at all to my knowledge. We've changed quite a few things in our front yard and on the front of our house--and they have never given us any grief over it. Other than the pain of having to pay the dues each year and an occasional letter for something petty in the driveway or out front, we don't hear much from them. For instance, my MIL had a flat--hubby had her bent rim leaned against the side of the house for a couple of days. They happened to drive by and see it. So we got us a nice little letter asking us to please remove it. I don't like the idea that they have a jurisdiction over what I do with my property that I have paid for...but, if you want to live in a subdivision, that's the price you pay.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:42 AM on Oct. 29, 2008

  • I lived in an HOA too for 2.8. years and we were fine. We fenced our back yard, we didn't put a shed up, because we didn't have room. But it was ok. I probably won't do it again, but if you don't have a choice it's not so bad.

    Answer by SaferAtHome at 10:56 AM on Oct. 29, 2008

  • Starrmom2Xander......You mean even if I pay CASH for my home in a HOA hood without any loans from a bank, they can still put a lien on it or foreclose on me? That doesn't seem fair....I bought the property outright with no strings attached. I understand if I choose to live in a hood with HOA I have to abide by the rules, I get that. I just can't believe they do it or can do it. Maybe that's why this house I want, the lady there lost her home. It's a great area, love the neighborhood watch, clean yards and all but's really something to think about before you move into an area like that. Anything else on HOA that I SHOULD know...ANYONE?

    Answer by stayhomemom22 at 11:06 AM on Oct. 29, 2008

  • Even if your house is paid for outright, if you default on your HOA payments or are found to be in violation of the HOA standards for your neighborhood, they CAN take you to court and potentially seize your home if the courts find you at fault. When I bought my house, I specifically told the realtor that I had no interest in an HOA-subdivision, I don't feel they're worth the potential problems. I don't know how unbiased the author of this article is, but you should check it out:

    Answer by emubren at 11:20 AM on Oct. 29, 2008

  • There are definitely good and bad things about living in a HOA community. Just make sure that you request and read the bylaws before you make your decision so that you know upfront what your getting in too. HOA's can put a lien on your house if you fail to pay dues and some have the authority written into the bylaws to levy fines and or injunctions for certain acts- I know of a neighborhood that won't allow your grass to be over a certain height or they levy a daily fine but on the other hand my HOA has very loose bylaws and no authority to fine anyone (which makes enforcement tough).  So it's really depends on the how strict the bylaws are and how much authority they have. 


    Answer by MommytoGRP at 11:45 AM on Oct. 29, 2008

  • I don't like HOAs. Ours is not pleasant. They are like powerful mini-govts that can enforce by laws they make up. Permission needed to fart on your front lawn. Just know what you are getting into--we didn't see ours in writing until closing. How convenient. The rules are endless. We have not had any problems w/ ours, personally, but I am not fond of the idea. Also, what are we getting for our money anyway? I don't agree w/ it on principle, but we were desperate to purchase a home when we did, and had no choice. If we could vote ours to fold, I would

    Answer by onlycathyo at 3:51 PM on Oct. 29, 2008

  • I was a property abstractor (searched property records) for a few years. The HOA can absolutely put a lien on your home. I have never seen a forclosure because of it, but I'm sure its a possibility. Just from working for them, I think every one is different. Some won't let you paint your house a certain color or let your grass grow 1/2 inch too long, others are much more lenient. I'd ask some of the neighboring homeowners their opinion of the HOA. If you plan on living in a "plan", you are probably not going to be able to avoid HOAs.

    Answer by drowninginboys at 5:48 PM on Oct. 29, 2008