How to Deal with Homeowners Associations when Building a Custom Home

Most people dream of finding that perfect home to set up residence and live comfortably for many years to come. Unfortunately, the reality for some is finding out that their dream area is covered by a Home Owner’s Association with potential heavy restrictions. This may cause issues if your dream plans go against what the HOA permits, but this does not necessarily mean all is lost; how do you negotiate with the HOA?

It’s important to know that if you are building something on the chosen land covered by the HOA, you must obtain permission from their own approval as well as a building permit from the city. It’s important to start by doing research on laws for both parties to ensure you are legally allowed to build what you desire before beginning work.

Homeowners Associations try to maintain the quality of life for all neighbors. The restrictions are typically in place to help neighbors from making atrocious decisions; this includes someone living next to you obstructing your view of scenery, taking up space in your yard, or keeping trash in their yard. Although these are not life or death issues, the value of the home fluctuates based on the surroundings, so the HOA allows you to sell your home for it’s maximum value in the event you wish to leave. You will not have this luxury if neighbors around you do these things outside of a HOA.

One common solution people will take when wishing to build on their property is to go to their neighbors for help. As long as you are in good standing with those around you, and your project does not harm their way of living, most neighbors will do what they can to help you out. There is a power in a numbers, and trying to change a rule is best accomplished when you have those around you in agreement. Your neighbors are paying the same fees for the same regulations that you have, so this could benefit them for future projects they may also be interested in.

Because of this strength in numbers, it’s best to stay involved with the community. Sit on on community meetings and help out others to stay on the good side. Also, visiting these meetings can be a great pedestal to speak on, as other people with similar issues can gather and speak together directly to the board members and attempt to change regulations. If you have remained in good standing with the board and paid your dues on time, sometimes they will do their best to meet an in between with you at least.

Unfortunately, it is possible to be stuck with a stubborn HOA who won’t budge. If you have not caused any trouble for them in the past, are active in the community, and have at least a few neighbors on your side without any plausible reason not to build your project, it may be time to give up an find a new place to live. This can be a huge bummer, but there are plenty of good-natured HOA that will budge for good community members.

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