In the Naples area, we have tons of HOA communities, and they all have different rules from a pet policy to a rental policy to how many vehicles are allowed and beyond. And that applies not only just a condo’s HOA community but also to single family homes.
It’s very easy to for buyers to fall in love with a home that may not work for them in the long run.
Depending on the community and the HOA rules, parking can be problematic. You may be assigned specific spots or allotted a certain number. You might not be able to park in spots designated for visitors or along the side of the street. Some complexes don’t allow commercial vehicles to park in the main parking lot. In some cases that rule applies also to pick-up trucks that aren’t necessarily marked for commercial use. Some communities don’t allow motorcycles or allow them as long as they stay quiet.
Most gated communities have rental restrictions, and each one is different. Some require owners rent out a home for a minimum of 30 days making short-term rentals impossible. Other communities allow no more than three leases per year in their unit while some let you have up to 12 leases in a year. If you’re planning to put your home up on AirBnB, it may not work, depending on the community you buy in. There are also communities that don’t allow annual rentals at all. If you buy a property with the intention to eventually rent it, the business model for your rental may have to conform to HOA rules.
Each HOA fee covers different amenities. In some communities, your HOA fee covers the cost of irrigation water and lawn maintenance, but in others, it doesn’t. Some HOA’s use the fees to help pay part of the villa’s insurance coverage, usually the exterior. But in other villa communities, they don’t. A community may offer basic cable as part of your HOA fee or not. Many, but not all, will likely restrict your ability to get something like DirectTV or Dish Network.
Each HOA will have a set of documents for buyers to read and get familiar with. The type of documents, the rules, and what you need to do as a buyer depends on the type of property you want to purchase. In a condo purchase, the buyer has to acknowledge they received the condo documents. You have three days to go through the documents and back out of the deal if you don’t want to live under the HOA community requirements. Single-family homes in an HOA do not offer that same option.
Well managed HOA communities have a lot to offer homeowners. But before you fall in love with a home, you need to make sure you’re willing to live under the HOA rules. While you might have leeway in a condo, you don’t with a single family home. It’s extremely important to make sure you know what you’re getting into before you get to the closing table.