HOA 101

Taylor Youngs, Homeowner Association Manager

Have you ever wondered what a homeowners association (HOA) is and how it can benefit your family and community? HOAs provide services to community members in terms of both individual property management tasks and overall community maintenance. Think of an HOA as a regulating, governing structure for planned communities, including single-family and condominium developments. An HOA’s core function is to keep property values high by establishing a set of standards for all participating homeowners to maintain. 

Single-family homes established within HOAs are highly desired for a number of reasons. HOAs can take on the burden of managing everything from community pool and recreation center maintenance to utility bills for individual homeowners. They often regulate everyday lifestyle impacts like pet ordinances, quiet hours, groundskeeping, and road repair. New members of the community agree to abide by HOA rules, making HOA-managed communities attractive for those seeking stability and reliability during and following their transition to their new home. HOAs are so popular, that the average HOA-managed single-family home sells for about 5% more than homes residing outside of HOAs. In terms of average dollars, that’s a sale bonus of nearly $14k – for just residing within an HOA!

Eastbrook Homes proudly offers a number of HOA-managed communities. Homeowner Association Manager Taylor Youngs is well-versed in the unique features of Eastbrook’s HOAs and loves sharing HOA tips and information with new Eastbrook homebuyers. Join us as we listen to her expert perspective on what you need to know when considering an HOA-managed community for your next home.

Introduce yourself! What is it you do for Eastbrook Homes? 

My name is Taylor Youngs and I am the Homeowner Association Manager for Eastbrook Homes. My role involves invoicing/collecting association dues, paying association invoices, and answering homeowner questions/concerns.

What do HOA’s do for a community? 

HOAs do slightly different things depending on the type of association. For example, a “single-family” (master community) homeowners association could be responsible for things like grounds maintenance (mowing, mulch, irrigation), private road maintenance, and maintaining any amenities of the association (such as a pool and/or clubhouse if applicable). Condominium homeowners associations, on the other hand, could be responsible for things like lawn maintenance, snow removal of driveways, private road maintenance, and some exterior building elements.

Can you explain the benefits of having an HOA? 

A homeowner association helps maintain the common areas to ensure the community is maintained at a high standard. This includes property values. If your community has amenities, such as a pool or clubhouse, the association maintains these items. For a condo association, it can mean less maintenance for homeowners (not maintenance free!)

An HOA might not be for everyone; can you provide some reasons why someone may not want to live in a community with an HOA?  

There are rules that uphold the standards of the community. Approval for exterior changes or additions is required prior to starting a project. If you don’t want to request approval for items, or find a certain rule too restrictive for what you’re looking for, then that particular association may not be for you. Always review the association documents beforehand. If something is a deal-breaker for you (such as putting in a pole barn or specific type of fencing), that association may not be the right fit. By reviewing the community documents thoroughly, a potential buyer can make sure that the association fits their needs.

What about those fees? How much does an HOA cost? 

Association fees vary by association and type of association. For a “single-family” association, dues tend to be invoiced annually. For a condo association, dues are invoiced monthly. The cost of association dues also depends on the services/amenities included and the location of the community. For example, some associations may have a pool to maintain and others may not. Or for a condo association, if water/sewer is included in the HOA dues, those rates are determined by the municipality. The association will have to adjust dues accordingly.

Pro Tip: Check out individual community pages on the Eastbrook website and click on “HOA Information” to view current HOA fees by location!

I’m currently building with Eastbrook: what do I need to know about my HOA? 

Being in an association doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your home and community! Don’t let the “rules” scare you. If you ever have a question or concern, just ask! We want everyone to enjoy their community! 

I’m in an Eastbrook community now: can I join an HOA board? 

Eastbrook initially acts as the HOA management company, working on the homeowners’ behalf for the first few years as the community gets going. Eastbrook will manage the association until a certain percentage of homes are complete. Eventually, all associations are turned over to a homeowner Board of Directors. In most associations, we have advisory committees. These are made up of homeowner volunteers who can act as the spokesperson for the community. 

Any other insights? 

Always read your community documents. Pay attention to the “rules” of the association. Some people don’t realize they belong to an association or know what that means. Reading the community documents helps ensure everyone is on the same page.

Do you have additional questions about Eastbrook Homes’ HOA features, benefits, or fees? Connect with us here to discover your options and learn more about Eastbrook’s unique communities. We build everything from low-maintenance townhomes to shoreline single-family homes, each nestled in the heart of West Michigan and Greater Lansing Area communities. Take the first step toward making your dream living community a reality by contacting Eastbrook Homes today!

Published on 17/05/2022

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