There are many reasons people buy a home in a condominium or community association. Some great reasons include the availability and shared expense of recreational amenities, architectural style, affordability and social gatherings. However, learning all of the details of a community before purchasing is extremely important. The condominium or community association may impose restrictions and require the payment of periodic assessments, and you’ll want to be aware of these.
It's appropriate to ask whether there is an owners association soon after you identify a home you’d like to purchase. The seller is obligated to produce the governing documents, including the declaration of protective covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs), bylaws and anything else that applies. For everyone’s convenience, at CAMS we place the governing documents on each association’s website, which is accessible to the public. But not every association is as transparent or easy to access as the ones we advise.
Buyers need to be aware of the obligations they are agreeing to when purchasing in a condominium or community association. Membership is automatic, not voluntary, when a buyer receives a deed to the property. Members are obligated to pay assessments, obey the association’s governing documents including rules and regulations, and comply with the architectural guidelines.
All of this requires that you understand your personal preferences before you decide to live under an association. For example, are you OK with neighbors approving or rejecting your home plans? Will you be comfortable abiding by the governing documents and policies developed by the association and its board of directors? Or do you want to always be in control? Will you regret your decision when you must comply with a rule you don’t like? While an association can provide a lot of shelter, opportunity and conflict management, you must know your feelings about these types of questions before you commit.
Learn all of the facts about an association before purchasing a home in a condominium or community.
Some other things to consider include:
Neil Cotiaux - May 17, 2021
Christina Haley O'Neal - May 17, 2021
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