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Alabama Law for You

  • Writer's pictureGregory Stanley

More HOAs and COAs Nationally - Part One

Updated: Apr 21

This is the 1st in a Series of 5 association trends in 2023 for Alabama COA and HOA Group | Facebook


  1. More HOAs and COAs nationally, but especially in coastal and resort areas

  2. Owners expecting better communication from their boards

  3. Expenses and dues going up (What Powers does the Board really have?)

  4. Automation is mandatory

  5. Disputes on the rise


MORE HOAS: Consistently increasing growth in numbers of associations over the past few years indicates more and more people are taking advantage of the benefits of communal amenities and shared expenses. The number of associations in the States grew by ~2,500 in 2018, there were ~4,000 new associations in 2019, there were ~5,000 new developments in 2022, and 2023 is expected to continue the trend of growth despite the turbulent real estate and financial markets.[2]


Aging America is happy to pool funds to take care of yard work, exterior maintenance, water bills, and yes, pools. 


As America ages, more people see the value in having someone else handle exterior maintenance and repairs. Boomers would prefer to walk on trails or enjoy the water over cutting grass and cleaning their own pools. Historically, homeowners also benefit from living in community associations because the homes often yield higher resale prices than similar properties that do not belong to governed communities. This is like the difference between buying a car from the dealer as opposed to buying a car elsewhere. Buying from the dealer provides a sense of security that the car has been maintained and if something goes wrong, it will be handled.

 

A benefit younger homeowners look for is security and community. 


Often Associations have gated communities and their own security. With local municipalities facing their own challenges, this type of security is well worth the cost in association dues. Furthermore, associations often have a bargaining advantage with services like internet, and television, as well as trash removal and sometimes water service. Often the atmosphere at the hub of associations is the pool or other common area, which is not unlike a university commons. Dating and meeting people is always changing and they say the primary factor in new friendships is common location.


There are good associations and associations that are still trying to get there. 

 

When you look to buy a home in a community with a homeowners or condominium association its best to remember that not all associations are equal. By law most associations must provide their financial documents to prospective buyers so you can see what the assessments are being spent on. In downtown Birmingham there is a condo association with $750 a month dues, and they don’t even have a pool. On the other hand, there is an association in Double Springs Alabama that has a gated community on Lewis Smith Lake, with access to the Bankhead National Forest, boat docks, a pool and a clubhouse and their dues are $750 a year. Well managed owners associations add value to the property, increase enjoyment, and decrease costs compared to stand-alone houses.


Always use a reputable Alabama Lawyer when you are dealing with real property, whether it has an association or not.


(205) 451-4196


[1] Homeowners Associations & Property Owners Associations follow the same laws, Condo Associations have their own laws in Alabama, based on what year they were formed. [2] The Foundation for Community Association Research

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