If you are planning to sell your single-family home to move to a condo or townhouse, you will likely become part of a homeowner's association (HOA). An HOA is typically present with multi-family home communities, and it is the governing authority for the neighborhood. When you buy a house that is part of an HOA, the association will have a set of covenants, conditions, and restrictions, and this is called CC&Rs. Before you buy any home that is part of an HOA, you should fully understand what the CC&Rs are for the community, and here are three things you should examine carefully.

The Purpose Of CC&Rs

A community with an HOA develops a set of CC&Rs for several purposes. These documents contain all the covenants, conditions, and restrictions of the community, and they serve the following purposes:

  1. To protect the community.
  2. To preserve the community.
  3. To enhance the values of the properties.

Without these rules, the homeowners would have a free for all. They could do anything they want in the community, and there would be a lack of structure and uniformity. All HOAs create these rules to keep the community looking good, and to make sure that the properties look similar and attractive at all times.

Common Items Found In CC&Rs

While all HOAs have different CC&Rs, most will have similar categories. Here are some of the common items you will found within the CC&Rs of a community:

  • Outdoor decorations – There are typically rules relating to what you can use to decorate the outside of your home. Some communities allow you to decorate in any ways you would like, but others may not allow you to put anything in your yard.
  • Parking – You are likely to find restrictions when it comes to parking. You may not be allowed to park on the road, for example, and you might not be allowed to park recreational vehicles in the yard.
  • Pets – It's also common to find rules relating to pets. You might be allowed to have pets in a community, but you may have to follow certain guidelines when choosing one.
  • Use of property – There might also be guidelines relating to how you can use your home. For example, you might not be allowed to run a home business from your house. You might also have restrictions when it comes to the number of guests you have at your home. It's also common to find rules relating to renting the property. In other words, you may not be allowed to rent your house out.

Every community is different when it comes to the rules and restrictions they have; however, it is vital to know what these are before you buy. If you end up with a house that has rules you cannot live with, there is not much you can do about it. You will have to abide by the CC&Rs of the community if you live there.

What Could Happen If You Do Not Follow The Rules

Finally, it's important to read through the CC&Rs carefully to find out what consequences there might be for failing to abide by all the rules listed. If you fail to follow the rules, the HOA might let you know first with a letter that you are breaking a rule. You will most likely be given a certain amount of time to remedy the problem. If you fail to do this, the HOA might fine you or file a lawsuit against you. There are a variety of ways an HOA can enforce the rules they have set in place when a homeowner breaks them.

Living in a community with an HOA has many benefits, and the CC&Rs are actually for your benefit. If you have questions or would like to view multi-family homes, contact a real estate agent at a firm such as J & N Realty, Inc..