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Understanding HOAs in residential real estate transactions

Does the Delaware home you want to buy mean that you will have to join and pay dues to a homeowners' association? If it does, you may want to gain an understanding of certain terminology associated with residential real estate HOAs. This may help you when you review all of the rules and regulations, bylaws and covenants, conditions and restrictions of the community in which you are considering buying a house.

Perhaps you have heard of CC&Rs, but do not quite understand what that means. The primary function of CC&Rs is to let you know what you can and cannot do with your property. They also include your and the HOA's obligations with regard to maintenance issues. Other legal issues covered in them include assessment and insurance obligations, dispute resolution and enforcement mechanisms.

The bylaws cover the rules for HOA board elections, along with how often they will take place. It also includes the number of board members, how long each can serve and the duties for each position. The bylaws outline how often meetings must occur and how many people must attend the meetings (the quorum) as well. The rules and regulations will often cover whatever does not get addressed in the CC&Rs or the bylaws.

With this general information, you may be able to at least understand the paperwork you are looking at, but it will more than likely not provide you with a thorough understanding of what you could be getting into if your purchase in a particular neighborhood. Knowing that could help you make a decision. Gaining the level of understanding and comfort you need when it comes to a community's HOA may require the assistance of a Delaware residential real estate attorney.

Source: kppm.com, "Understanding the Differences Between CC&Rs, Bylaws and Rules & Regulations," accessed Jan. 13, 2018

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