In Las Vegas, it’s often a given that the home you buy in a new or established neighborhood is going to include a Home Owners Association (HOA). Yay! Or….not so much? You might have an opinion on that.

One thing that we’ve noticed you rarely see in the headlines, though, are things like “HOA Adds Value to Our Homes” – or “No Trash On Our Streets, Thanks to the HOA!” Nah – most of the reason that an HOA gets into the news is due to complaints, because it’s rare for people to take the time to deliver compliments.

Now, we’re not going to lie and say that we haven’t heard a number of HOA Horror Stories, because we have. But because we deal with the entire Las Vegas real estate market, we also know that their existence is, for the most part, a good thing. Often the reason that HOA’s run into trouble is when reasonable neighborhood residents fail to take an interest in playing a role on the board – and they leave it all to someone else, just assuming that it doesn’t really require their attention because “doesn’t everyone think like me?” Sometimes, that doesn’t work out so well.

Whether you like or hate the rules that come with life in a community association, once you buy that property – you’ve signed on. But those rules are designed to protect property values, and studies show that 70% of people believe they do.

(HUGE DISCLAIMER: Read your HOA documents before you close escrow. Know the rules before you move in – because by moving in, you’ve accepted them all.)

But it’s important to realize that communities with HOA’s are dependent upon the skills and personalities that residents and board members bring to the table. Good communication and transparency are crucial elements of a harmonious relationship between the HOA and its residents. Clarifying where the money goes, sharing information about how decisions are made, and encouraging homeowner participation in rules and expenditures are all part of the responsibilities that the board should take seriously. Think of it as a non-stop process of building and maintaining trust – with a big helping of give-and-take (sort of like having to deal with your extended family at Thanksgiving dinner!).

So we’d just like to remind homeowners that there are reasons you bought your home in that neighborhood – and some of those reasons may not even exist without the covenants and bylaws of the Home Owners Association that govern that community.

If you want to make sure that the HOA you live under is run properly and fairly – then exercise your voice, attend meetings, read the newsletters, stay informed, take advantage of your right to vote and even run for office. Because the only way to keep the bad eggs off the board is to make sure that it’s filled up with good eggs instead!

(One last reminder: HOAs now have the power to report to credit agencies – so even if you have a dispute with yours, stay current on your dues, or your credit may take an unnecessary hit!)

New Home Resource helps current and future homeowners with all of their Las Vegas real estate needs. Whether your preference is for a newly built home from a local builder, or a resale property in just the right location, a New Home Resource Realtor® is here to find the perfect property for you. Please contact a New Home Resource Realtor® today at 702-365-1000 or at www.newhomeresource.com. Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Moreno Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, Lance Partin and Kathy Paterniti are all here to help!