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Review the homeowners association rules before buying a property

For some Melbourne residents, their homeowners' association (HOA) is a boon because it helps keep their neighborhood up to certain standards of beauty and makes sure their neighbors behave themselves. For others, their HOA is a burden because it's overly strict, requires expensive fees and -- for lack of a better word -- it's annoying.

Ultimately, the decision to buy into a neighborhood with an HOA is your decision. Approximately 25 percent of neighborhoods have an HOA that regulates the activities of property owners within the community. Because of their potential to be a pain in your backside, however, you'll want to review the HOA agreement associated with any new home purchase before agreeing to buy.

Here's one example of a typical HOA horror story that you will definitely want to avoid by understanding the HOA agreement before buying a property. Let's say you purchase a property with multiple rental units. However, what you didn't realize is that the neighborhood -- according to its HOA -- has already reached the maximum amount of rental units for the neighborhood. Now, you own an expensive piece of investment real estate -- that you wanted to rent to tenants -- but you're unable to generate an income from it.

There are so many other ways that an HOA can wreak havoc on your plans. For example, you might own a recreational vehicle that you plan to park in your driveway, but the homeowners' association rules prevent you from doing so. Now, you have no idea where you're going to park your RV.

At Frese, Whitehead & Anderson, P.A., we encourage all Melbourne real estate buyers to review the homeowners' association rules closely before purchasing a property. At our law firm, we help home buyers review HOA agreements to ensure they don't jump into a bad real estate purchase that could cause them a lot of emotional -- and financial -- turmoil later on down the road.

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