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Homeowner baffled after discovering significant detail about new home hidden by builder: 'This is consult a lawyer territory'

"Well, I got a letter last month I thought was junk because it referenced an HOA…"

"Well, I got a letter last month I thought was junk because it referenced an HOA..."

Photo Credit: iStock

There are many exciting opportunities that come with homeownership. It is a chance to enact a vision for everyday living that you may have long dreamed of. However, some homes fall under the management of a homeowners association, which significantly limits the changes you can make to your property.

In a recent Reddit post, one new homeowner shared their dismay after learning that their newly built custom house was under HOA management.

"We built a house, up front [we] were told HOA would only be the street we are on," they shared. "Well I got a letter last month I thought was junk because it referenced an HOA and community management org. Finally opened it and it's this letter saying we are part of XX HOA and this is what we owe. I called to say there was a mistake and [it] turns out, no, our builder didn't inform us of the HOA."

Not only was this new HOA management not disclosed to the new homeowner, but it also posed challenges to the homeowner's plans to make their custom build more eco-friendly. 

"I want to return my lovely custom built house because of how awful this position is for us with restrictions (our fence is too tall already which was installed during the build, we want solar panels, stuff that we'd have to fight over)," the homeowner commented.

Unfortunately, this is not a unique situation. Many homeowners find that their environmental plans are met with resistance from their HOAs. Some are told to rip out their lawns, others are denied the installation of solar panels, and more are banned from parking their electric vehicles in their garages. 

Over 75 million people of the U.S. population live within HOA communities, and that number is likely to continue growing. In 2022, 66% of newly completed homes were part of HOA communities, up 17% from 2011.

It is important that as more Americans find themselves under HOA management they understand how to navigate HOA management and rules. Some state and federal laws prohibit certain rules created by HOAs, such as rules that prevent drying your clothes outside or growing native plants in your yard.

To protect themselves from unfair HOA rules, homeowners should start by thoroughly reviewing governing documents before purchasing a property. Once they purchase their home, they should actively participate in HOA meetings and foster open communication with neighbors about any HOA rules. Finally, seeking legal help when needed can be helpful with any disputes. 

As one reply under the original post stated: "This is consult a lawyer territory."

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