Lori Madden's Blog
Did you know that Florida is the state with the most Home Owner Associations in the country? We have more than 47,000 with California right behind us at 45,000. If you’re a first-time homebuyer or interested in a house that is a part of an HOA here’s what you need to know.
First, you should know that Home Owners Associations or HOA’s are in place via deed restrictions which are tied to the title of the house, not the owners. This means that when buying a home with deed restrictions you will automatically be joining the HOA. You will be under obligation to pay yearly fees to keep the association running and follow the bylaws in place.
An association can legally enforce hefty fines if you do not follow these bylaws and they usually do. When there isn’t an association in place please do not make the mistake to think you are “off the hook”. A neighbor can decide to sue and take you to court for not keeping within the rules.
You might be wondering why have deed restrictions at all. The truth is there are quite a few positives that many people find well worth the rules and fees. Having an HOA in place protects your home’s value. By requiring neighbors to maintain their homes and lawns your home’s value can’t be brought down because of someone else’s actions. Deed restrictions are also frequently put into place to protect a particularly stunning view for the neighborhood. This is to prevent it from being obstructed so the whole community can enjoy it.
A Home Owners Association can create a sense of community. It helps to ensure everyone is happy and that the roads and facilities the neighborhood uses are well maintained. It is up to community management to ensure trash, road repairs and storm damage are duly taken care of. Often, communities with associations even have amenities for everyone to use like a pool, playground or hall.
Common restrictions you should keep in mind when considering a home under deed restriction are:
the number of people who can live in a home
what type and number of pets you can/can not have
if cars can be parked in the driveway
if there is a limit on how many cars can be parked on the driveway
if motor homes, boats, and motorcycles are not allowed
What sort of home business can be operated
The colors used for siding
Types and style of materials used when renovating
What type, size and extent of renovations can be done
If you have or plan to have, a large family, a lot of leisure vehicles or run a business with a lot of foot traffic in and out of your home it is probably best to look for a home that does not come with deed restrictions or an HOA. You should also look elsewhere if you plan for major renovations now or down the line and enjoy having a unique one of a kind home.
If you don’t plan on major structural changes to your home, aren’t bothered by all the houses more or less looking the same, and following some restricting rules an HOA might be the right fit for you.
If you want to sell your house as quickly as possible, it is important to ensure your residence boasts a dazzling interior. Because if buyers fall in love with your residence as soon as they step inside of it, you may be able to reap the benefits of a quick, profitable house selling experience.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you rejuvenate your home's interior.
1. Eliminate Clutter
Clutter is a problem for many home sellers, and it may make it tough for a seller to show off the full beauty of his or her residence to potential buyers.
Dedicate time and resources to remove clutter from your house – you'll be glad you did. If you have excess items, you can always sell these items or donate them to charity. Or, if you have assorted items you want to keep, you can rent a storage unit to keep these items safe until your residence sells.
2. Depersonalize Your Home
Antiques, paintings and various personal belongings have helped your transform a house into a home. Yet these personal belongings may make it difficult for a buyer to picture what life may be like as the owner of your residence.
Oftentimes, it helps to remove personal belongings from your home before you add it to the real estate market. If you make it easy for buyers to imagine what life could be like if they purchase your home, you may be able to help them decide whether your residence is the right choice.
3. Clean Your Home
Buyers likely will shy away from a dirty, messy home. Conversely, a home seller who cleans his or her residence from top to bottom can boost the likelihood that this house will make a positive first impression on prospective buyers.
Home cleaning should be performed regularly. If you need extra help with home cleaning, you can always hire a professional home cleaning company as well.
As you get set to add your residence to the local housing market, you may want to hire a real estate agent too. A real estate agent can offer recommendations and suggestions about how to improve your residence's interior. Furthermore, he or she will do whatever it takes to help you optimize your home sale earnings.
Let's not forget about the guidance that a real estate agent can provide at each stage of the home selling journey, either. A real estate agent will showcase your residence to prospective buyers, help you analyze offers to purchase your house and much more. And if you ever have home selling concerns or queries, a real estate agent is prepared to respond to them at a moment's notice.
Ready to revitalize your home's interior and enjoy a successful property selling experience? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can improve your house's interior and take a step to distinguish your home from comparable residences in your city or town.
Buying a condo may seem like an uphill climb, particularly for those who are browsing the real estate market for the first time. Lucky for you, we're here to help you take the guesswork out of finding the right condo.
What does it take to locate a high-quality condo at an affordable price? Here are three tips that every first-time condo buyer needs to know.
1. Explore a Wide Range of Condos
The real estate market is filled with many first-rate condos, and the sheer volume of properties that are available may feel overwhelming at times. Therefore, you should allocate the necessary time and resources to find a condo that suits you perfectly.
Don't be afraid to check out several condos over the course of a few days or weeks. By doing so, you can better understand what you'd like to find in the ideal condo.
Of course, if you fall in love with a condo, you should be ready to submit an offer. That way, you can avoid the risk of missing out on a great condo that matches or exceeds your expectations.
2. Determine How You'll Pay for a Condo
Many property buyers get pre-approved for a mortgage, and for good reason. With a mortgage in hand, you'll know exactly what you can afford as you review the real estate market.
Meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. These lenders will be able to provide you with multiple mortgage options and respond to your financing concerns and queries.
Also, keep in mind that the price of a condo may extend beyond your monthly mortgage payments.
In many instances, condo communities have homeowners' associations (HOAs) in place that will charge monthly fees. Learn about any HOA fees in advance, and you'll know exactly what you'll need to pay each month to live in a particular condo community.
3. Work with a Real Estate Agent
No one should be forced to evaluate condos on their own. Fortunately, you can hire a real estate agent to streamline the process of finding a terrific condo.
A real estate agent with condo experience understands the hurdles that may arise during a condo search. As such, he or she will do whatever it takes to ensure you can get the best results possible as you look for the perfect condo.
For instance, a real estate agent will set up condo showings and keep you up to date about open houses. This real estate professional will even negotiate with a condo seller on your behalf, which means you won't have to worry about breaking your budget to purchase a stellar condo.
Employing a real estate agent enables you to get expert advice at each stage of the condo buying process too. Thus, you can receive instant responses to your condo buying questions at any time.
Simplify the process of buying your first condo – use the aforementioned tips, and you can boost your chances of acquiring a superb condo at a budget-friendly price.