There are over 50,000 community associations in California and according to the California Association of Homeowners Associations, over 6 million California residents currently live in a community association, with that number growing every year. Most of these associations are homeowner associations, with each homeowner in the community being a member of the association. It’s been estimated that nationally, one out of five homeowners lives in a community association, so if you don’t already live in an HOA, you just might someday. Knowing what an HOA is and the role it plays in the community can help you determine if living in an HOA is right for you. When searching for Fairfield homes for sale and Vacaville homes for sale, make sure to understand which ones are part of HOA communities.
In California, most HOAs are non-profit corporations and are primarily governed by the statutes found in Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act. As corporations, HOAs are also subject to provisions in the California Corporations Code and the California Business and Professions Code.
Homeowner associations are run by Boards of Directors made up of volunteer homeowners who are elected by fellow homeowners to oversee the daily operation of the association, such as maintaining common areas, enforcing rules, managing association finances, preparing operating budgets, contracting for services, and ensuring compliance with the laws governing HOAs, among many other services. Those duties and responsibilities can be found in the association’s governing documents, primarily in the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs). The CC&Rs and other governing documents provide the structure to the community, helps protect property values, and are intended to ensure the community is maintained as envisaged by the original developer of the property. In many cases, particularly with larger associations, boards may hire professional association management companies to help carry out these duties. In either case, the Board of Directors maintains control – the management company is obligated to carry out the directives of the board, as long as those directives are not in conflict with the association’s governing documents or state laws. Ask about HOAs in any Fairfield homes for sale and Vacaville homes for sale that you are viewing.
For many, the convenience of paying a monthly or annual assessment to have needed services performed regularly (landscaping and irrigation, pool service, building maintenance, etc.) is a great choice. If you don’t like to follow rules, however, purchasing Fairfield homes for sale and Vacaville homes for sale in an HOA may not be for you. Every member (including their tenants, guests or invitees) is obligated to follow the provisions in the CC&Rs and other association documents. Some common regulations found in many CC&Rs:
- Association approval is required before any alterations are made to building exteriors. This includes satellite dishes, decorations, painting, or any building additions.
- Association approval is required before any landscaping alterations are made, including installing new plants, removing old plants, adding bark, etc.
- Trash cans are allowed on the street only on collection days and must be kept out of sight at all other times.
State laws allow for associations to take disciplinary actions against members who repeatedly violate the regulations governing the association, up to and including the imposition of fines against the member’s association account. Remember these points when looking at Fairfield homes for sale and Vacaville homes for sale in HOA communities.
If you are considering purchasing Fairfield homes for sale and Vacaville homes for sale in a community association, we recommend you make yourself familiar with the association’s governing documents prior to committing yourself to living there. These documents will be provided to you for review during the escrow period. Make sure living in an HOA is right for you before you commit.