Master-planned communities can offer home buyers a number of advantages. They are often full of amenities like swimming pools and public parks. They also commonly offer community-wide events like movies in the parks or arts and crafts fairs.
However, if you have never lived in one, you need to know what is expected of you as a homeowner. You can decide if buying a home in a master-planned community is right for you by relying on the counsel of a real estate agent.
Understanding HOA Rules
Most master-planned communities utilized homeowners associations to govern daily life. These associations, often called HOAs, are made up of elected boards of directors who are typically fellow homeowners in the community.
Homeowners become automatic members of the HOA in their community when they close on their homes. They are expected to pay dues, sometimes called assessments, to their respective HOA every month or quarter.
Homeowners also agree to abide by the governing documents, essentially rules or mandates, that the HOA collectively decide on and adopt for the community. These documents can touch on everything from what colors that you can paint your home to how often you can have overnight guests in your house.
When you hire a real estate agent to represent you in looking for and potentially buying a house in a master-planned community, you can learn by what governing documents you must live after closing. Your real estate agent should be on respectable terms with the HOA, particularly its community property manager, and can tell you how much you will pay in assessments, what rules you will need to observe, and other key details that go into your membership in the HOA.
A real estate agent can also tell you if you are getting a good deal for the home that you want to buy in the master-planned community. He or she may be familiar with other home values in the area and if the price that the home is listed for is on par with its location in the community. You can use this information to bargain the price down lower if needed.
A real estate agent can help you look for and find homes to buy in master-planned communities. He or she can find out details about the HOA and advise you on pricing for the house.
Talk to a local agent to get help finding the right home.