First time home buyers ask me this question all the time: should I buy a home in a Homeowners Association? Also known as an HOA, the answer to the question is a personal one because HOA's, like most things, have pros and cons.
In this short video I talk about those pros and cons.
How do you know if a home is an and HOA or not? Well, here in New Mexico it has to be disclosed before you purchase. You're supposed to receive HOA documents including the HOA resale disclosure at least 7 days before you go to close on your new home. The resale disclosure certificate gives you all the most relevant information about the association including the current monthly HOA fee. However, when you're browsing online looking for homes on sites like Zillow, you're not going to know if a neighborhood has an HOA or not. For that your going to have to contact a local Albuquerque Realtor like me.
Are Homeowners Associations Mandatory?
Homeowner's associations are almost always mandatory in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho NM. Neighborhood associations, however, are usually voluntary. Most HOA's that I know of can write citiations and put a lien on your property if you don't pay them or if you don't pay your quarterly dues. I don't know of any neighborhood associations, which are friendly groups of interested neighbors, that can do that.
That doesn't mean if your home does not have an HOA that you can anything you want with your property, if it's in the city, because most neighborhoods have some kind of covenants and restrictions in addition to local zoning code.