You’ve bought a home — condo, townhome, or zero lot line in a gated community for more relaxed living. Suddenly, there are new documents you have never seen before at closing. Welcome to the world of living in a homeowner’s association!
 
It’s a lot of paperwork. What are three of the most important documents to examine when purchasing in a homeowners association (HOA)?
 
We reached out to SBB Management Company of Dallas and Keller for the answers. SBB Management is  a DFW company that has been managing homeowners associations and communities for the last 40 years. Our readers hit us with questions such as this almost weekly, and SBB has come on board to help us respond:
 
First of all, congratulations. Unlike most buyers, you are actually taking the time to learn about your community association and what’s involved in the purchase.  Even better if you actually read the CC & Rs. Consider that well-worn catch phrase: “location, location, location” when describing the three most important considerations of a real estate purchase?  

Perhaps a lesser known, and much less sexy catch phrase when considering a home purchase in an HOA is “governing documents, governing documents, governing documents”. 

Actually, that is not even a slightly known catch phrase. We just made it up. However, becoming familiar with the HOA governing documents is a very important step in considering the purchase of a home in an HOA. It may not be fun, certainly not sexy, and your head may spin. But trust us, we deal with this every day as professionals. If you neglect looking at the following three items, you could be in store for a miserable life in a condo or home that you also might not be able to re-sell…

Number One is to always, always read the HOA’s governing documents. Number Two is to examine the financial health of the HOA and its financials. Number three is to gauge the sense of community spirit. Here we go: (more…)