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Naples Real Estate Law Blog

What can an HOA tell homeowners about their property?

The intent of a homeowners' association is to protect the visual appeal of the neighborhood, protect property values and maintain common spaces. These organizations exist for the purpose of benefitting the property owners who live in the community. To make HOAs work well, property owners have to agree to abide by the terms set forth in the agreements that they likely signed upon moving into the Florida neighborhood. 

What your HOA will be able to regulate depends on the specific type of neighborhood it governs and the terms of your covenants. Homeowners sometimes fight back against enforcement of the rules and perceived violations of property rights, which can lead to complex legal disputes. In order to avoid disputes as much as possible, it's smart to spell out very clearly the rules and expectations of both the homeowners and the HOA.

The potential drawbacks of condo living

Buildings that are currently used as apartment complexes could one day be converted into condos. In an apartment complex, each tenant pays rent to the landlord who will maintain the property. In a condo, each resident owns their own unit and may be assessed a fee to maintain a common area. While it may be worth it for a tenant to own the space that he or she is currently renting, that is not always the case.

Those who don't believe that they will be staying for the long-term might want to look for another rental instead. Individuals who can't afford a down payment could also benefit more from renting instead of owning property. The character of a community could change as individuals choose to leave or properties are bought by speculators. Furthermore, the homeowners association that runs the condo may have different rules and policies than the previous landlord did.

Using an FHA loan for an investment property

When it comes to investing, many Americans turn to real estate as an alternative to the stock market. However, real estate investment typically requires more capital.

While this may dissuade some from entering the housing market, high costs don’t always have to prevent investors from real estate.

What to consider when starting an HOA

Homeowners associations have become more popular in recent decades in Florida and throughout the country. As of 2010, roughly one in five Americans lived in a property controlled by an HOA. To create an HOA, a group of individuals will need to create an LLC or similar entity and come up with the rules that homeowners must follow. Finally, it will be necessary to create bylaws and ways for regulations to be amended in the future.

Any officers elected to the HOA board must be qualified to hold the position that they have been chosen to fulfill. Typically, the association will need to have insurance to protect itself against homeowner lawsuits. Lawsuits may happen for a variety of reasons such as disputes over rules enforcement or potential changes to community bylaws. If a homeowner has a complaint, it must be addressed in a timely manner.

Turning a hobby into a business

Starting a business can be an effective way for Florida residents to gain more control over their careers. However, there are some questions that a person should ask before deciding to turn a hobby into a business venture. The first question to consider is what a state will require for a person to formally create a company.

It is also important to consider whether turning a hobby into a business venture is worth doing. In some cases, a person may feel differently about their favorite pastime when there is a need to make money from it. An individual may also discover that his or her passion is better suited as a side job or something that is done on evenings or weekends to generate some extra spending money.

Tips for maximizing the value of a home

While Florida homeowners are still seeing their homes appreciate in value, home prices are rising at a slower rate. Slower price appreciation may be a sign that a buyer's market is approaching. At a minimum, sellers will have to do more to get the most for their properties. One way to possibly get more for a home is to list it during the spring months. According to Realtor.com, homes listed in April had more views and less competition than other months.

Specifically, homes listed between March 31 and April 6 could sell for an extra $17,000 based on 2019 market data. However, this is not the only time that buyers will pay more for homes. Sellers were able to get up to 9.2% more than their home was worth by selling it in June. This compares to a 6.4% premium in April and a 4% premium in October, December and January.

What to consider before purchasing a vacation home

Florida residents who are thinking of purchasing a vacation home should seriously consider the decision before signing any paperwork. Owning a second home definitely has its benefits. However, a buyer will need to look at their financial goals and budget to be sure that they can afford a vacation home and that owning one is in their best interests.

One thing a person will want to consider is how much time they can realistically manage to spend at their vacation home. Their real life is not going to stop just because they own real estate along the beach or in another scenic area. Some owners have found that hiring a local property management company to handle maintenance is helpful if they live several hours away from the vacation home. If a person does not have much time to spend in their vacation home, it's better to purchase property that's within an hour or so from their primary residence.

Resolving a covenant dispute with homeowners

Homeowners associations (HOAs) serve to benefit the homeowners within its neighborhoods or communities. When homeowners purchase their property, they agree to adhere to the rules of the HOA and pay dues to contribute to the upkeep of their community.

Florida law requires homeowners to comply with the rules of their applicable association. Yet, disagreements between the HOA board and homeowners are not entirely uncommon. When a disagreement cannot reach a resolution amicably, board members may have to consider next steps to enforce a broken covenant.

Alternative lender offers funds with fewer strings attached

Raising capital is often a challenge for startup businesses in Florida. It's a process that often takes several months, especially for entrepreneurs without significant assets to get the ball rolling. A Canadian alternative lender based in Toronto is offering a unique funding solution for e-commerce startups: It claims to be able to quickly make an offer to startups operating in North America within 20 minutes.

In exchange for providing capital to startups, which can range from $10,000 to $10 million, the lender takes a portion of a new company's top-line revenue. This is done in lieu of requiring the founder to sign over equity. While not a new concept, this approach to lending is appealing because it gives founders a chance to grow new e-commerce businesses without giving up ownership.

I want Florida-friendly plants in my yard. Can my HOA stop me?

I want to xeriscape my lawn with Florida-friendly plants. Can my HOA stop me?

Florida is one of several states that prohibits HOAs from limiting an environmentally friendly lawn. Even if your condominium's covenants or bylaws prohibit what you can and can't plant, Florida law supersedes the HOA bylaws.

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Adamczyk Law Firm, PLLC

Adamczyk Law Firm, PLLC
9130 Galleria Court
Suite 201
Naples, FL 34109

Phone: 239-260-9948
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