Tag Archives: HOA

Homeowners Associations – the Good & Bad


When looking for our place in the world, we tend to look for the best area to nest – a harbor where we find shelter from the storm and a place to luxuriate when the sun shines. If you’re considering moving into a new house, that also means moving into a new community, which can often mean having to deal with a Homeowners Association (HOA).

These fees are used to pay for items such as street repairs, landscaping the neighborhood’s public areas, pools and parks. Sounds good, right? But like many things, they can be either a blessing or a curse, and sometimes both. Before committing your heart and money to a home, make sure to do your homework to ensure the community you choose is the right one for you! Here are some things to consider:

1.  HOA’s charge a fee, usually around $300/year. Make sure you include this cost in your overall housing budget, and inquire whether these fees are locked in.

2.  What are the perks that come with the new community? Is there a tennis court, a community garden, a neighborhood crime watch?

3.  Maintaining your home to a certain degree – keeping your house facade clean and your lawn mowed is a must.

4.  Ask about the rules and restrictions. Do they allow chickens or an apiary, for example, if that’s what you’re into? If you’re green-friendly, make sure to ask about fertilizer and sprinkler system requirements.

5.  Ask if there’s anything special you need to know. For example, is the neighborhood home to a feral cat community?

6.  If you’re building a new house there’s no need to worry, but make sure an existing house is not already out of compliance with the HOA.

7.  If an HOA is important to you, ask the neighbors if the one you’re looking at is responsive and properly managed.

Hopefully, this will better prepare you to be a happy homeowner. When you’re ready, call us at 210-494-5400 to set up a consultation to discuss your new custom-built luxury home. If you wish to be added to our private email list for our newsletter, please sign up here.



Tips for First Time Homeowners

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Buying, owning and living in a new house can be tricky, especially if you’re a first time homeowner. Here are a few tips that might save you from saying, “If only I knew.”


If you see your house as an investment, your best bet for a significant return on your money is finding a location in an up-and-coming area. In San Antonio right now that might be a neighborhood such as Government Hill, which is experiencing a dramatic revival.


When building in a location with an HOA, make sure to ask to take a look at the contract before making a decision. Perhaps you want to have chickens for fresh eggs but find out the neighborhood is home to a feral cat community. It’s better to know what you’re getting into in advance.


Make a detailed budget, not just one that includes the cost of the house, whether you’re having one custom built or buying a historic home, but a budget that includes things like utilities, commuting costs and eventual add-ons or re-modeling.


Look into grants that might supplement your mortgage. Regardless of your income, you’d be surprised to learn how many grants are available, based on location as well as profession. There are grants for farmers, teachers and many others.


Especially when you’re having a house built from the ground up, there are things you’re likely going to want to skimp on, such as appliances. While this can save you money up front, consider the long-term repercussions. High-end, energy-saving appliances cost more money but save in the long run.

If you have questions on these or any other home-related topics, please give us a call at 210-494-5400. To be added to our private email list to receive the newsletter, please sign up here.