You’ve finally made the jump and moved into an HOA. From increased home values to a general sense of community, living in an HOA has proven to be a very positive experience for many homeowners. The adjustment can be intimidating, but being the new kid on the block doesn’t have to be so bad. If you’re new to the community, take these steps to get acclimated.
1. Familiarize yourself with your surroundings.
Familiarizing yourself with your surroundings is an easy way to make your community feel like home. Take a walk around to get a general lay of the land – check out the other homes, find out where you can park, where the child-friendly areas are located, and the details about the amenities and facilities that are available to you.
2. Meet your neighbors.
Once you’ve learned about the places that surround you, it’s time to meet the faces. Whether you need to borrow an egg, or have someone collect your mail while you’re away, living in a community with neighbors close by is extremely beneficial. Start engaging early on; strike up a conversation or say hello to people out and about – you never know who you could meet. Many communities have welcoming committees and host events like bake sales, garage sales, and cookouts, so make sure to take advantage of those opportunities as well.
3. Get to know the decision makers.
In an HOA, the board of directors is the decision makers for the community. Board members are homeowners, like you, who volunteer and have a true interest in improving the community. They serve as the voice of an association and are responsible for managing most aspects of your community, like governing documents and finances. The board actively works to build a sense of community in your association and controls the direction your community takes into the future, so get to know the board members, go to a meeting, and sign up for their communications.
4. Read the governing documents.
Reading your community’s governing documents is a crucial step in getting acclimated to your community. Governing documents often include important information like Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions, and Rules and Regulations. From what color you can paint your house, to pet restrictions and when assessments are due, these documents contain important information you won’t want to miss.