6 Things You Need to Know About Homeowners’ Associations Before You Buy Your New Home

Many complexes, apartment buildings, and condos have homeowners’ associations. These associations are responsible for maintaining these complexes. In such areas, the people who live here need to take joint responsibility for taking care of the communal areas and amenities. These associations also have rules that all homeowners must abide by. Here are a few things to consider by renowned Tallahassee real estate agent Suzanne McGhee.

1. Know the Rules

Find the relevant documentation online or from the estate agent. Make sure you know and understand all rules. Pay attention to rules that involve fines and non-payment.

2. Check That the House You are Looking at is Compliant

Before deciding to buy the house, check that the house is compliant to the rules of the homeowners’ association. If it is not, you might have a lot of problems when you move in. Find out what you need to do to make the house compliant.

3. Can You Deal With Being Told What to Do?

If you do not particularly like being told what you may and may not do, you might want to reconsider living where there are homeowners’ associations. Having to comply with the rules, might frustrate you. You might not enjoy your new home because of this.

4. Ask About Fees

Find out what the fees paid to the homeowners’ association covers. This way you will know which extras you will have to pay, for example, cable. Find out how often they increase the fees. Keep in mind that you will be paying fees for facilities like a swimming pool whether you use it or not. Ask yourself whether you will be using these facilities.

5. Attend a Homeowners’ Association Meeting

Try to attend a meeting or get the minutes of previous meetings before buying. This will indicate how the policies work, what drama is happening, etc. If you feel that the current board of the association is not managing the association well, reconsider buying a house there.

6. Look for Signs of Under-Management

The opposite of over managed areas is under-managed ones. Sometimes no-one cares enough or no-one is interested in maintaining the buildings and communal areas. In these areas, resident complaints are not addressed.

5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Deciding What Type of Home You Want to Buy

If you are thinking about buying a new home, you are probably unsure about what to buy. There are so many options, how do you decide? Answer these 5 questions to get a better idea of what type of home will suit you best.

1. Do You Mind Communal Areas and Shared Walls?

If you do not like living close to other people a condo or apartment is not for you. You will be sharing walls, parking spaces, and communal areas. You will not have control of the property as you will be bound by rules set out by the homeowners’ association.

2. Not Ready for a House, But a Condo is too small?

Townhouses are somewhere between a house and a condo. It is bigger than a condo but has more privacy and less sharing. Some townhouses have small gardens and attached garages. They cost a bit less than houses and might be ideal for a small family.

3. Are You Ready for the Commitment of a House?

Buying a house might be one of the biggest decisions you will ever make. It is a huge expense in terms of the mortgage as well as maintenance. However, if you are prepared for this and you want to have privacy, buying a house will be ideal for you.

4. What Types of Rooms Do I Need?

Apart from the type of home, you also need to decide what your needs for the inside are. How many bedrooms and bathrooms your family needs are very important. The size of the kitchen might influence your decision if you need a big one.

5. Do I Want a Garden?

Another important question is whether you want or need a garden. If you have children or pets, you probably need space for them to run and play. A garden will then be a necessity. Homes with gardens might be more expensive depending on the size.

10 Things You Should Do the Day You Move Into Your New Dream Home

You just bought your dream home in Tallahassee and you are excited to get everything where you want it. Before you can, however, there are a few things that need to be done to get you settled and ready to unpack.

1. Get Your Utilities Up and Running

You probably already had all the utilities connected. Make a note of the meter readings for electricity and water in case of later disputes.

2. Unpack the Essentials

Your boxes for kitchen and bedding should be clearly marked. Unpack the bedding, shower essentials, and kitchen basics. You will want a comfy bed and a cup of coffee after the long day.

3. Inspect Everything

Take a very close look at everything in your new house. Look for damage of any kind, leaks, water stains, etc. Make a note of them all and even take photos. Remember to also check things in the garden and outer buildings.

4. Change the Locks

Change the locks to all outside doors to make sure that you and your family are the only ones with access.

5. Childproofing

If you have a baby or small children, childproofing is the next step. Make sure that all potential dangers are out of reach to keep your little ones safe.

6. Connect Fridge and Other Important Appliances

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the house – it’s where the food is made. Connect the fridge, freezer, stove, washing machine and dishwasher. Unpack all the things that will make the kitchen the heart of your home.

7. Unpack

Finish unpacking your house and get everything in place.

8. Cleaning

Clean your house so it will feel fresh and new and homey.

9. Help Your Pets Adjust

The new environment will be strange and sometimes seem threatening to your pets. Help them adjust by making sure they are comfortable. Keep your cats in a single room for a few days and then let them explore the inside of the house. Watch your pets for signs of distress.

10. Change Your Address

Change your address and make the new home officially yours.