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Corcoran Legends
Rob Lowenthal, Corcoran LegendsPhone: (914) 450-8120
Email: [email protected]

How to Get Along with Your HOA

by Rob Lowenthal 09/17/2021

Photo by Romakoma via Shutterstock

Many modern housing developments share areas such as parks, pools and playgrounds. When this is the case, they need a homeowner’s association to tend to the needs of the common areas. The same is true for condominium complexes and townhome communities. Since hallways, elevators and the outsides of buildings require shared maintenance, the HOA’s purpose is clear, and membership means protection for home values.

But some neighborhoods have associations that do not maintain jointly-owned areas. Instead, they exist purportedly to keep the neighborhood’s appeal. Often, these groups set strict rules on paint colors, the length grass can grow, whether you can have lawn ornaments and various other personal taste decisions that might make your life there more complicated. They police the number of vehicles in your driveway and how quickly you put away your trash containers after pickup.

These rules can benefit owners by making certain one property’s neglect doesn’t reflect poorly on the other properties nearby.

Know before You Go

When you purchase a home in a community with a homeowner’s association, request a copy of the CC&Rs (Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions) before you make an offer or with a contingency that you can back out if the rules are too onerous.

If you decide to purchase in an HOA neighborhood, realize that you’re giving up some of your freedoms in exchange for rules meant to enhance the quality of life in your community.

Get Involved

The best way to coexist with community life is to get involved. Attend the meetings, offer to be on a committee or run for office. Sometimes, due to lack of a quorum, the leadership rules by fiat, so try to get other neighbors involved too. Offer to host a social event so that neighbors can meet and get to know one another. It’s harder to impose harsh rules on people you know and see frequently.

If you don’t understand a rule, open a dialog. Perhaps you’ll discover there is a history behind the rule that gives it more validity.

Always make your requests in writing too, so that you can back up claims for a quick response to HOA action against you.

When the home you want is in an HOA-controlled community, do your best to become part of the influencers rather than a detractor. That way, if someone proposes a petty rule that you believe isn’t helpful, you’ll be able to have your say.

Let your real estate agent know how you feel about living in an HOA neighborhood. If you’re unsure, ask your agent to find out how the HOA functions and what the other members think about it. 

About the Author
Author

Rob Lowenthal

“I don’t sell homes, I change lives.”

A licensed real estate salesperson since 2016, Rob is affiliated with the Briarcliff Manor office of Corcoran Legends Realty. He serves buyers, sellers, renters, in Westchester, Rockland, and Putnam counties. Rob, a native of New York and Westchester County for most of his life, brings an extensive local knowledge of both residential and commercial properties to the table. His experience includes a wide range of property types – single-family, multi-family, condos and mixed use. “Hard to sell” properties is where Rob really excels. “There’s no problem that cannot be solved.”

Rob is certified for many different disciplines in real estate. Cartus Relocation Network Agent, AARP Agent, National Tenants Network (NTN) Agent, Green certified and Pricing Strategies Master. In addition, Rob has completed the Leader’s Edge Advanced training to better serve his clients. Rob has been both associate of the month and top closed dollar agent.

When you work with Rob, you get the feeling you’re his only client. Numbers don’t count, you do. Clients always come first. Each transaction is handled as if it were his own home. Rob strives to make the process as seamless as possible and takes care of all the details, no matter how small. His clients rave about his above-and-beyond service and prompt informative communication. Rob is easy going, friendly, and patient. However he can be a determined and aggressive negotiator when the need arises.

When not out actively working on behalf of his clients, Rob spends time with his wife and two teenage daughters. A devoted supporter of community he sits on several local boards and volunteers for numerous locale nonprofit organizations. He enjoys cycling, hiking, kayaking and winter skiing.

May your price be right, and your sale be swift!”