If you’re searching for a home, one of the decisions you’ll have to make is whether you want to live in a neighborhood with a No Homeowners Association (HOA) or with a HOA. If you choose to live with a HomeOwners Association what type fits your families needs? This will be a multi-part series covering the types of Home Owners Associations, or lack there of, you’ll find in the Charlotte and Lake Norman area of North Carolina. As you can see by the title of the post and the picture on the right, this part will be about focus on neighborhoods with No Homeowners Association.
Depending on your background, your opinion of Homeowners Associations will be different. One opinion is if you live in a neighborhood with No Homeowners Association, the neighborhood is always one bad neighbor from falling into anarchy; cars parked in the front yard, contractors leaving their trucks in the neighborhood, loud parties at all hours and days of the week, and more. Another possible opinion is that Home Owner Associations are a problem themselves. They take dues and you get nothing in return. It’s nothing but the loudest neighbors trying to control the other neighbors. They have overbearing rules and regulations. Like most things in life the truth lies somewhere between and mostly depends on you and your specific situation.
Let’s get some of the myths out of the way first. What stops a neighborhood from falling into shambles with No HomeOwners Association? There are several layers of protection for homeowners living in neighborhoods with No Homeowners Association.
The first and most obvious are Federal, State and Local laws. Think of things actual Police would show up for. Just like a neighborhood with a HOA, homeowners living in neighborhoods with No Homeowners Association have to follow the law. This includes things as simple as noise ordinances that say how loud music, tools, parties or other loud items can be. Also, how late or early in the day they can be done. Your neighbor can’t mow their lawn at 6am, just like the college kids can’t play loud music and party all night. I’m sure you can think of plenty of examples on your own without me going into morbid detail on this.
The next layers of protection are State and Local zoning and deed restrictions. Just like Laws, zoning issues apply equally to both Homeowner Association and No Homeowners Association neighborhoods. They decide what type of structures are built, what it’s allowed to be used for, occupancy, structural additions, parking and more. Here in Huntersville, you don’t have to worry about cars parked on lawns, it’s not permitted. Contractors using their homes to park work vehicles face restrictions, but there is also some leeway for smaller work vans and trucks. Most cities also have limits and restrictions on pets, so no chicken coups in back yards. For full details on what allowed in your area, contact your local city government office or contact me for help. (Huntersville) (Cornelius)
Deed restrictions are restrictions placed on the deed of the property, meaning they pass from owner to owner, either by the Homeowners Association or the builder(s), in conjunction with the city or municipality. This is one of the first places that a difference between a neighborhood with No Homeowners Association and one with one becomes apparant. Both typically have Deed restrictions, but neighborhoods with No Homeowners Associations usually have fewer of them. Some examples of Deed restrictions include:
Restrictions on the type, size, height, location and possibly the color of:
- house numbers
- For Sale Signs
- basketball hoops
The storage location of garbage cans and more.
Before making an offer or buying a home, it’s important to know the local zoning and the deed restrictions on the property. If you would like more information on either zoning or deed restrictions contact me.
So you’re protected from all those crazy scenarios and you’re thinking what else?
Homeowner Association Dues. They can range from as little as $100 a year to well over $1000, and the cost to benefits ration can vary even more drastically. No Homeowners Association = No Homeowner Association dues, that can be a huge difference in your yearly housing costs. You can use that money to fix up your home, to add some more equity, buy more home than you would be able to afford other wise, or just save it.
In the next part of this series I’ll go into the benefits of Homeowners Associations, here I’m going to focus on the negative. Homeowner Associations are all as unique as the homeowners that make them up, but like any system, things can go awry. They range from the small and somewhat insignificant, to the serious and life changing. On the not so serious side are things like garbage cans and where they can be left. There are HOA’s that require you to keep and put your garbage cans out of view at all times but pickup day. Have a few days off, you’re working on yard cleanup and leave your Yard Waste pail out overnight so you can finish in the morning. There are neighborhoods that can and will fine you for this.
On the serious side, some HOA’s have serious and significant power over your property. You got a $50 fine for leaving your Yard Waste pail out overnight and didn’t pay it. The HOA decides to foreclose on your property for failure to pay. While the significant majority of HOA’s use this power for failure to pay HOA dues, and after exhausting all other options, there have been cases of abuse. One that comes to mind is someone who had foreclosure proceedings started for failure to pay Homeowner Association dues. Problem is, they were already previously paid. Do a Google search for “Homeowner Association forecloses” and you can see the stories, which of course were more prevalent during the foreclosure crisis as HOA’s were fighting for every dollar.
Huntersville has a great range of neighborhoods with No Homeowners Associations. For a complete list of Huntersville neighborhoods with No Homeowners Association see our Huntersville Neighborhood list Here. You can also start browsing the list of Neighborhoods in Huntersville with No Homeowners Association. You can also see listings from Harvest Point and Bay Shores, two Huntersville neighborhoods with No Homeowners Association.
Contact Me now for a No Obligation personal evaluation of your Home Owner Association needs.
Huntersville Neighborhoods with No Homeowners Association