Living with an HOA and CC&Rs | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Living with an HOA and CC&Rs

A guick guide to real estate covenants and more

click to enlarge Living with an HOA and CC&Rs
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When you're looking to buy a home in Central Oregon, one term you're likely to encounter is "Homeowners Association." Another critical element tied to HOAs is Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions. These play crucial roles in shaping residential communities, impacting everything from property aesthetics to neighborly relations. People are often split opinion-wise on whether they like or dislike living within an HOA or a community with CC&Rs.

An HOA is a private organization established by a real estate developer to manage a residential community. Think of an HOA as the community's governing body, ensuring everything runs smoothly. In Oregon, HOAs are backed by state laws like the Oregon Planned Community Act and the Oregon Condominium Act. These laws empower HOAs to collect dues, enforce rules and maintain shared spaces, such as parks, swimming pools and clubhouses. Being part of an HOA means you contribute to and benefit from these community features.

The board of directors, elected by homeowners, handles the HOA's day-to-day operations. This includes setting budgets, enforcing community rules and managing finances to ensure the community's common areas are well-kept. Additionally, they mediate disputes and address any rule violations, making sure everyone enjoys a harmonious living environment.

On the flip side, CC&Rs are the legal documents that spell out the dos and don'ts within the community. Recorded with the county recorder's office, these binding agreements are designed to uphold property values and maintain a cohesive neighborhood look and feel. For example, CC&Rs may dictate how you can use your property, what color you can paint your house or even how you must maintain your lawn.

In Oregon, CC&Rs are enforceable by the HOA or through legal action by individual homeowners. Violations can result in fines or other penalties, so it's essential to be familiar with these rules before purchasing a property. While HOAs manage the community, CC&Rs provide the specific guidelines that everyone must follow. HOAs enforce these guidelines to ensure consistency and protect property values, focusing on broader community management and financial oversight.

Homeowners have mixed feelings about HOAs and CC&Rs. Many appreciate the structure and order they bring to a community. They enjoy the well-maintained common areas and the peace of mind that comes with knowing everyone is adhering to the same standards. This can be especially appealing in neighborhoods where property aesthetics are a priority. For these homeowners, HOAs and CC&Rs are seen as protectors of their investment, ensuring property values remain stable and the community looks its best.

However, not everyone is a fan. Some homeowners find HOAs and CC&Rs to be overly restrictive. The rules can sometimes feel intrusive, limiting personal freedoms regarding property use and modifications. Homeowners may become frustrated with fines or penalties for what they see as minor infractions. Additionally, mandatory membership and dues can be viewed as an unnecessary financial burden. Disputes with HOA boards, especially if they are perceived as overreaching, can further sour the experience for some.

As a prospective homeowner, understanding their roles and differences is key to ensuring you find the right community that fits your lifestyle and expectations.

Let me know what you think about HOA's and CC&Rs at [email protected]. I would love to get some opinions.

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