As an owner or resident in a community association, it is important to understand the purpose of community associations and the ways in which your community association can thrive. We often tend to focus on the negative aspects of community association living, such as: too many rules, too much oversight, the one (or two) bad Board member(s); the list can go on and on if you look for it. But let’s focus on the benefits of community associations.
One of greatest benefits of a community association is the protection it provides for our property values; these protected property values safeguard the efforts we undertake in expressing the pride of ownership that we take in our homes. We love to care for the upkeep of our homes when those efforts are rewarded, both emotionally and financially!
Associations are also intended to foster a sense of community! The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “community,” in part, as follows:
A unified body of individuals such as:
- people with common interest living in a particular area;
- a group linked by a common policy;
- joint ownership or participation
Community associations provide for a harmonious community under a set of covenants that protect each individual owner’s investment and preserve property values in the community. Have you seen that phrase, or something similar, in your Association’s Covenants or Rules and Regulations before? It is likely there if you look for it.
Harmonious living and protected property values don’t just happen by themselves, especially when living in close quarters with shared walls and/or shared common areas. It takes a village (or community) to accomplish such an enormous task. Your role as an owner or resident in your Community Association to ensure that the ideals of harmonious living and property values are attainable. Get involved and participate to make sure your community thrives! Volunteering for a Board of Directors position is not for everyone; however, there are countless other ways to engage with your community. Attend the meetings, communicate with the Board of Directors, volunteer to be part of work party to clean up the grounds, get to know neighbors and check in on each other.
A few other fundamental requirements cultivate the atmosphere to allow the harmony that most of us seek when we purchase a home in a community. First, when you are considering investing your time and/or money to add the value to your individual property, make the first step be the review of your governing documents and/or check in with the Board or architectural control committee (“ACC”) to make sure all required approvals of your investment of time and money have been obtained. Second, make sure that you are timely paying your portion of the community’s assessments, so that the areas that surround everyone’s individual properties are maintained. You want your individual investments to be enhanced by the common areas, rather than have weeds, unkempt fences, or other unsightly structures detract from your beautiful new paint or pergola.
Be neighborly and take pride in your investment! By doing so, you may be surprised at what you and your community can accomplish.