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HOA or POA: Buyers Beware

Charles Thurston-Snoha

Posted on July 22, 2018 21:39

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Homeowner or Property Owner Associations have plenty of perks; however, make sure to get your reading glasses on and read all the fine print.

As someone who has belonged to both an HOA (Homeowner’s Association) and a POA (Property Owner’s Association), when purchasing a home in an area that comes with one or the other, it’s important to understand what you are really signing yourself up for. There are plenty of positive things in regards to an HOA or POA, such as security, general upkeep. and having a vote in the decision-making process. 

However, with the positive comes the negative. And by negative, I’m referring to all the rules and fees associated with such associations. From a dictionary-sized list of rules and regulations to monthly payments and application fees for just about everything, my wife and I learned the downside the hard way.

Buying a home inside a gated community/resort, we knew what we were getting into when we purchased a home right on a golf course. There’d be plenty of golfers, some good, some not so good, and the potential for golf balls hitting our beautiful home. At the time, we didn’t see it being a major problem. After all, there was a thick barrier of trees between our property and the greens. However, things quickly changed after the resort cut down a bunch of trees that ran along the side of greens, leaving a wide-open space for golf balls to hit our house.

After finding a cracked light fixture on our deck, we had had enough. Coming up with a simple and moderately inexpensive solution to our problem (golf nets), we put them up with the hope of protecting our house, and more importantly, ourselves. I mean who really wants to dodge golf balls when you’re trying to grill out back?

It didn’t go over well with our POA. Once they found out, which didn’t take very long, they issued us a citation to take them down on the grounds that they were visually unappealing to the golfers vacationing at their resort. Their solution to our dilemma — the potential for injury and damage to our house — was that they could refer a landscaping guy to us who could give us guidance on planting “fast-growing” trees and shrubs in our yard. Needless to say, we did not consult with their landscaping guy.

Following the golf net fiasco, we were also disappointed to find out that we were prohibited from putting a shed in our yard (again because of the golfers), could only have a certain style of gate built on our property, and, even though they could cut whatever trees that they wanted down — some that didn’t even look close to dying _ we needed special permission. Don’t get me wrong, we really love where we liv, but when it comes to HOA and POAs, it is imperative to know exactly what you are getting yourself into.

Because, at the end of the day, you’re essentially signing away your rights to do what you please with your own property.  


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