What Will Your HOA Allow You to do?

It’s summer time and you’re ready to landscape the lawn or build that backyard deck! But you may have a homeowners association that wants to know exactly what you are doing. So, what will your HOA allow you to do? Here in central Florida, many of us live in homes that are part of a homeowners association. The main purpose of an HOA is to make sure that the houses are in significant conformity with pre-established regulations so that the value of all houses, and the neighborhood as a whole, remains as high as possible. If your neighbor decides to paint his house bright orange with nude murals on the exterior walls, that may not be the best thing for you or any future buyers. Or, if your neighbor tries to put a jacuzzi in the 10-foot deep front yard, without a fence, that could pose a danger issue to the kids in the area. So, there’s a lot to be said for having HOA regulations for the houses in your neighborhood. But what exactly will they let you do and what do they regulate? First and foremost, the HOA will regulate what you can do to the appearance of your home. You will need permission to paint your house, to change the surface or size of your driveway, and to even use certain types of furniture or decorations on your front porch. Anything which could affect the aesthetics of the exterior will be regulated. Some HOAs are very easy to work with, but you must first go through the formalities. That means, anytime you are ready to make a major change to your home’s exterior, you will need to notify the HOA. Most will have a form for you to fill out to send in for their review. The HOA’s Architectural Review Board will look at your plans and issue a decision. It typically takes an HOA about 30 days to make a decision, so don’t schedule the pool company to come out the day after you submit your HOA request! HOA regulations are good for your community, and many are easy to work with. Unfortunately, there have been too many horror stories of HOAs that are not quite friendly. I hope yours is the former! For more information on what your HOA will allow you to do, please contact real estate broker and real estate attorney, David Dowell, by phone/text at (407) 864-2265, or by email at david@PanAmOrlando.com