Many recently developed neighborhoods in the Pikes Peak region have a Homeowner’s Association, also known as an HOA. In Colorado Springs specifically, there are numerous HOAs all over the city from Briargate to The Broadmoor, from Northgate to Falcon.
Before buying a home, you should know if the neighborhood is managed by an HOA and what rules and fees entail. Your purchase contract allows you a certain amount of time for you to learn about your future neighborhood HOA so you can decide if it’s right for you and your family. Or your real estate agent can acquire these documents for you prior to putting in an offer, that is if time allows in one of the hottest markets in the county.
For Colorado Springs buyers who have not lived in an area with an HOA, here are some of the rules and benefits you may encounter:
1. One of the most surprising rules for many homeowners is that the HOA might have a say about the size of your garden, as well as about your use of compost piles, fertilizers, pesticides, and sprinkler systems. If things like solar panels, compost bins, xeriscaping, and other environmentally-friendly landscape practices are important to you, make sure you read the fine print of the HOA rules. To keep yards looking cohesive, you might find that some things are restricted.
2. Homeowners pay a monthly HOA fee, but this can often increase/decrease over the years. Make sure to ask questions ahead of time, with the help of your agent. Find out what your fees include and how/why they may change. For example, the Wolf Ranch Neighborhood HOA fee in Northern Colorado Springs covers trash, but not recycling. This is an extra expense residents in the neighborhood have to budget for if they desire to recycle.
3. Residents, as well as potential residents, have access to HOA meeting minutes and financial statements. These documents will be provided to you after you are under contract and will help you to see what the association is currently working on and discussing. You can personally contact the HOA directly for this or ask your real estate agent to assist you in obtaining a copy.
4. Many HOAs have a community forum or Facebook page. Visit the online profiles of your potential HOA and check out what other residents have to say. Questions, comments, and reviews are often posted online; this makes it easy for potential residents to learn what others think of the HOA, as well see what projects and events are in the works.
Remember, every HOA is different; this is not a comprehensive list. If there is a specific home or neighborhood you are interested in and you have questions about the HOA, talk to one of our experienced agents at Woodleaf Realty. We can help you obtain all the information you need, as well help you find answers to your questions.