Now that you have decided to move to Florida, the next thing you need to do is find that dream house or condo in which to live. With so many properties from which to choose, this could take a while and prove to be an exciting, albeit exhausting, process. So many things to consider. But among all those other things, be sure to include thoroughly checking out the homeowners’ association that goes with each home.

FindLaw explains that an HOA and its various rules and regulations can make or break your home buying decision. Why? Because the HOA could determine many things about what you can and cannot do with your home, including the following:

  • The color you can paint your home’s exterior and trim
  • The type and color of siding you can install
  • The type and color of roof you can install
  • The type and height of fencing you can install
  • The type and height of landscaping you can have
  • The number of pets you can have

Other restrictions

Depending on the precise rules and regulations of the HOA and the property it attaches to, you may also face restrictions regarding what types of vehicles you can park in your driveway or on the street in front of your home. If you have young children, also be sure to check what kind of playground equipment you can install. Likewise, if your prospective home sits on waterfront property, check what kind of dock and boat you can have.

Dues and fees

Most homeowners’ associations charge an annual membership fee as well as monthly dues. Be sure you understand exactly the amount you must pay and when these amounts become due. You will also want to know what, if any, penalties apply should you fail to make a required payment on time.

This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.